Open Enrollment | Subscribe to Target Marketing HERE
Connect
Follow us on
Advertisement
 
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
Are Autoresponders Killing Email Marketing?
Apr 16, 2014

Two events in the same week have triggered an email unsubscribe flurry on my behalf. First, a change in my...



Here's What Counts

Chuck McLeester
What Are You Measuring and Why?
Apr 9, 2014

An account manager working on a pharmaceutical brand once asked me, "How should we code the various opt-in vehicles to...



Marketing Sustainably

Chet Dalzell
Beyond Data: Why 'Grit' May Matter More
Apr 14, 2014

This past month, I was reminded how vital it is to have grit to achieve success, that is "true grit."...



The Power Punch

Carolyn Goodman
I Am the Judge of You
Apr 11, 2014

Pointing the finger has never been so easy ... and so anonymous. I suppose it's human nature to feel (and...



Brand Matters

Andrea Syverson
Verbify! Verbify! Verbify!
Apr 9, 2014

What's your brand verb? Yes, you read that right ... verb. Each and every day great brands are energized by...



The Integrated Email

Cyndie Shaffstall
Email Marketing: To Open or Not To Open ...
Apr 7, 2014

For many of us, choosing the from name is a simple task. We send it from the person to whom...



Ruthless B-to-B Marketing

Ruth P.  Stevens
How Many Leads Do You Need?
Apr 4, 2014

One key to successful B-to-B lead generation programs is to calculate exactly the right number of qualified leads to provide...



Making Social Sell

Jeff Molander
Why Most LinkedIn Lead Generation Tactics Fail
Apr 4, 2014

Sharing relevant content on LinkedIn likely will not get customers talking with you about what you're selling. Nor will commenting...



Big Data, Small Data, Clean Data, Messy Data

Stephen  H. Yu
Why Model?
Mar 26, 2014

Why model? Uh, because someone is ridiculously good looking, like Derek Zoolander? No, seriously, why model when we have so...



Marketing Nuggets

Michael Lowenstein
Too Big to Fail - But Not Too Big to Suck
Mar 26, 2014

On a recent "Real Time With Bill Maher" show, Maher responded to the announcement that Time Warner Cable would merge...



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)...



Muscle Marketing

Wendy Montes de Oca
7 Magic Ways to Maximize Otherwise Boring Fulfillment and Collateral Pieces for Profit
Aug 7, 2013

Sure, fulfillment and inserts aren't as sexy as other forms of marketing, but they can be viable ways to bring...



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...



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...



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...



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...



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....



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.

Sections:

COMMENTS

Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: