Scenario #1: The don't bother me on e-mail case.
I was recently at a networking event and met a great (or seemingly) woman who headed up a marketing firm. I asked her if she used writers, she said yes, so we exchanged cards, and I made a note to follow up with her. The next week, I sent a follow up e-mail with links to my business and activities and a restatement of what I had said when we met - that I was interested in writing projects and providing services for her, depending on her clients and needs, etc. No response the entire week. So the week after that, I sent the email again, with a "2nd request" note in the subject line. I figured if I didn't hear back, I would call, but I wanted to first set up some initial communication on e-mail. A few days later, I got a very strange e-mail from her. It looked like an autoresponder, and was not sent to me directly. It went on about how in order to have some semblance of a life, and so that she could remain less stressed and have a "balance in her life," she only returned e-mails once every few days, and we would have to be patient about her getting back to us. The tone was very offputting and remote. And that's not the end of it...another week later, I started getting voice messages from her partner urging me to contact them for a free consultation, and that I should call back right away to get "put on the books." To use an age old expression: Oy Voy. And that's still not the end of it - I never heard back from her, period.
It doesn't take a genius to see the multitude of problems with this:
- Who wants to hear back from someone on an autoresponder, when you took the time and trouble to e-mail them personally?
- We all have the challenge of juggling our personal and professional lives, but this should not be made an issue of on e-mail, and quite frankly, if you are so stressed that you have to compose such an e-mail, you really shouldn't be in business.
- In a co-run business, should one person not know what the other is doing?
- Never send a message that you are too busy for someone, even if it is a potential colleague, because you also create the impression that you might be too busy for potential clients, and people won't want to refer you.
- Never say, online or otherwise, that you're going to do something you aren't. Despite the email saying that I would hear from her in the next few days, I never did, further increasing my doubts about her credibility.
Stay tuned for the rest of my series this week, marketing mistakes Parts 2 & 3. They are real doozies.
Have you observed any marketing snafus you'd like to share?