I’ve been so busy lately juggling all the aspects of running a small business. Not sure if it’s the Holidays or over commitment but, I want to stop and share something that happened recently. I almost missed an opportunity.
I got an e-mail asking me if I was interested in writing and article for a prestigious local publication. One that would most certainly give me a nice amout of publicity and exposure. The reached out and sent a second e-mail asking again if I was interested. The second one peaked my interest. Here was the content of the e-mail.
I’m following up on my e-mail of 12/8 regarding an article for our small business publication (see original below). Please let me know if you’re interested in writing this article to help inform small business owners on this topic.
And here was my response:
I will have to apologize. I honestly thought you were doing a blanket call to people to submit articles to you. I didn’t feel like it was a good use of my time to spend writing an article that may or may not get published.
My current efforts of late are centered around helping small business owners understand what and how to use social media to leverage their presence and attract clients. I’ve had some training engagements lately that are consuming my research and writing time. Currently I’m preparing for some training with the CEO, executives and marketing team of an electrical company on social media.
How long of an article are you wanting? Is this part of a bigger article, which my copy will just be added too, or will it be stand alone. I could work on it over the weekend.
Again I’m sorry, since I don’t have a relationship with you your request seemed like a pitch. Which honestly I’m getting tired of getting asked for things and then asked to pay to be part of. Such horrible marketing I can’t believe it really works on people.
Feel free to call me today if you would like to discuss this in person.
I was authentic in my response but I gave them the opportunity to not only accept my apology but to follow-up with me by phone if they were really serious. Honestly I felt like I would not hear from them.
Later the same day, I got the call. This was in fact a legitimate and honest attempt to reach me specifically to write an article. I thought about feeling bad for a minute but the person informed me that he is often asked these questions. So the reality is it isn’t just me who is tired of all the false marketing. I’m sick and tired of business people thinking that reaching out to me asking me to have coffee really means hey come listen to my sales pitch. I’ll listen (because I was raised to be polite) but I’ll walk away thinking you’re an ASS and I’ll never do business with you. I’m sorry I just don’t roll that way. And I don’t respect people who do. Next time tell me you want me to listen to your pitch and buy me a cup of coffee, then I can actually make a true decision about utilizing my time. You might get a NO, but if I say yes, I’m much more likely to buy. Why cause I’ve accepted the invite, I’ve stepped closer to the sale.
OK, I’ll get down off my soapbox now. The reason I’m writing this post is to say. Careful when your juggling that the ball you drop might just be the most important one. Pick it up and keep on juggling. I’ll let you know if I get published. Won’t be till Feb. but my deadline is Sunday so I better get going and writing.
Have you had people contact you using really lame sales pitches or bad marketing practices? Or have you dropped a ball and either picked it up or missed an opportunity by not?
Share your experience with us. I’d love to hear your comments.