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Denny Hatch's Blog

Denny Hatch's Blog

By Denny Hatch

About Denny

Author, direct marketing guru, and always entertaining Denny Hatch focuses on a major story in the news and shows how businesses can take advantage of–or avoid the pitfalls from–the lessons to be learned in terms of marketing, sales, PR and communications.

 

Reinventing Direct

Gary Hennerberg
5 Proven Ways to Create a Blockbuster Unique Selling Proposition
Oct 1, 2014

You've heard of USP. A strong Unique Selling Proposition can produce more sales because it works to engrain new long-term...



Keeping Search Profitable

Amanda G. Watlington, Ph.D.
6 Keys to Search Success in 2014
Sep 30, 2014

What if someone gave you scientific data on what hundreds of sites are doing to get thousands of top keyword...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
Fresh Insights in Selling to SMBs
Sep 25, 2014

Despite the attention given to large enterprise marketing, it's small and medium businesses (SMB) where the bulk of marketing investments...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
Digital Onslaught: I'm Losing My Brain, and What’s Left Is Being Rewired
Sep 29, 2014

I am convinced that the ubiquity of and access to knowledge—largely digital and increasingly mobile—that I have come to depend...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
One Size DOES NOT Fit All in B-to-B Marketing
Sep 26, 2014

Here's a painful truth: B-to-B lead generation takes a lot of hard work BEFORE you execute any marketing or sales...



Mobile-First Marketing

Greg Hoy
You Know Your Mobile Customers Better Than You Think
Sep 24, 2014

Consumers are generally very attached to their smartphones and only connect with those they trust. This very reason is why...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Are We Hypocrites on Privacy?
Sep 22, 2014

I have been carefully reading the terms and conditions and privacy policies of companies to which I subscribe more often,...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
3 Ways to Waste Time on LinkedIn, but Feel Good About It
Sep 19, 2014

Ever feel like beating down all those bad tips for LinkedIn that we've all had enough of? You know, the...



Direct Mail for the Modern Marketer

Summer Gould
Direct Mail Design: Color
Sep 18, 2014

Designing for direct mail can be broken up into three segments: layout, color/images and copy. Since these can all be...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Is It Time for a True Goodbye?
Sep 16, 2014

As I reflected on a client interaction I had this week, I thought about how helpful it is for organizations...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Freeform Data Are Not Exactly Free
Sep 11, 2014

Whenever "Big Data" is mentioned, there follows this sick stat that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being collected every...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
1-Trick Ponies and Customer Loyalty Behavior
Sep 9, 2014

About 30 years ago, Paul Simon wrote a song entitled "One-Trick Pony." The song describes a performing pony that has...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
Penguin 3.0 Is Coming and It’s Time to Clean House
Aug 28, 2014

Anyone who's involved in Internet marketing can tell you that Penguin is more than a cute little seabird that lives...



Triple Venti Dolce Data...

Vince Pickett
Clue Me In, Please
Aug 21, 2013

So here we are, halfway through 2013. You, along with everyone, are still trying to find that magic formula to...



Who's Your Data?

Rio Longacre
Instagram: Does It Matter That It Will Make Money on Your Pics?
Dec 19, 2012

Instagram announced the company will soon begin using your content to sell targeted advertising products to the highest bidder. Does...



SEO & Content Marketing Revue

Heather Lloyd-Martin
5 Tips for Top Positioning (And Converting) Page Titles
Aug 11, 2010

Wondering about a SEO content strategy that offers the biggest impact in the shortest time? Try tweaking your page titles....



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
Planning ROI? Turn the Funnel Upside-Down
Aug 26, 2014

Many marketers use a funnel to illustrate the progression from prospect to buyer because the narrowing graphic neatly shows the...



Yblog

Yory Wurmser
Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Jul 10, 2013

Consumers reveal more than ever before consciously through social media and, just as importantly, unconsciously through their behaviors. This data...



The Whole Magilla

Ken Magill
What Marketers Can Learn From Maine's Political Email Idiocy
Feb 24, 2012

It finally happened. Politicians' idiotic email practices had a measurable negative effect. "Maine Republican Party chairman Charlie Webster has admitted...



Online Video Marketing Deep Dive

Eve Grey
Are Your Videos Champions of Your Brand?
Feb 3, 2014

If you advertise in an ordinary way, it's safe to expect ordinary results. However, when you take the extreme and...



Think Mobility

Greg Hickman
‘I Can't Because, I Need ... ’
Oct 7, 2013

Does this sound like you? Have you ever set up a goal, but then realized (either quickly or too late)...



Two Words That Wrecked an Otherwise Superb e-Sales Pitch

 
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.
 

[NOTE: All names and numbers have been changed to protect the inept.]

"Always see a salesman once," said my first boss and mentor, children's book publisher (and ace salesman) Franklin Watts.

The reason is obvious: you never know when (1) the guy has something to make you rich or (2) he is so good that you should hire him.

During 50 years in business, I have been receptive to reasonable blandishments from strangers by phone, letter, in person and—in recent years—e-mail.

James O'Malley called me and said that during this recession, many companies were having trouble getting paid. He said that his firm was employed by a number of direct marketing companies to collect overdue receivables and asked if I could use his services.

I gave him my usual line, "I'm a 'see' guy, not a 'hear' guy. Could you e-mail me some information?"

O'Malley said he would. Did I have any outstanding receivables currently that would require his services? I said that I did not, but who knows what the future would bring.

Five minutes later I received the following e-mail from James O'Malley:

your new Legal & Collection firm

Wednesday, July 1, 2009 11:02 AM

From:

"James O'Malley" <jomalley@b-s-minc.com>

To: dennyhatch@yahoo.com

Message contains attachments

BSM 2009 EMAIL Packet (James O'Malley) PC.doc (42KB)

Denny,

We spoke today about protecting your company on current and future collection issues. Our collection ratios are more than double those of in house attempts, OR competing attorneys and collection firms, and many times we can collect within 3-5 business days. Attached please find the information you requested regarding our firm, along with a placement form.

Please get together the exact amount, invoice number, and date of invoices as soon as possible.

We are excited about the opportunity to help dramatically increase your cash flow. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at the number below.

 <see attachments>

Sincerely,

James O'Malley
Client Services Manager
800.555.8020
602.555.8041

www.b-s-minc.com

So far so good, I thought, as I clicked on the attachment. I believed James O'Malley cared about me, wanted my business and spent serious time trying to woo me. After all, he called and asked for me by name and immediately followed up with a personalized e-mail. This was a thoroughgoing professional sales effort that made me feel important.

"It's a basic tenet of selling," wrote the late copy guru Bill Jayme, "that in the marketplace as in theater, there is indeed a factor at work called 'the willing suspension of disbelief.'"

The attachment—which arrived in Word—was three pages. The first page was a memo from James O'Malley describing the history of his company and why I should use his services. Page two was a description of precisely what services O'Malley's firm could provide. And the third page was a form for me to fill out to get the ball rolling.

Alas, the first page was NOT a personal memo to me from James O'Malley. Here is how it read:

To: Potential Client

From: James O'Malley

As mentioned, the attachment was in Word format, which means he could have spent an additional two seconds replacing "Potential Client" with "Denny Hatch" and closed the loop, making me believe that he was talking exclusively and personally to me.

Instead of a highly professional personal message, O'Malley threw an e-pie in my face, saying in effect, "Yeah, I'm sending this to a lot of people. You're a big boy. You understand."

In short, he broke the spell and triggered what Hemingway called my "shockproof, built-in shit detector."

In addition, the following two sentences in the memo are grammatically incorrect:

 >>Our combined 75 years of experience, professionalism and dedication to our clients, allows us to exceed all industry standards and provide you with the most expeditious results. <<

(The verbs—"allows" and "provide"—should agree.)

>>By utilizing our vast resources, as well as our investigating techniques to determine the debtor's financial condition, provides us the information needed to best collect the account. <<

(The first word should be deleted.)

Admittedly, these are small details, but they indicate sloppy preparation. Would I trust these careless people to be in direct contact with my customers and clients—those folks who hopefully will be paying their bills on time once this damned recession is over and long after O'Malley's services are no longer required?

Uh-uh.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

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