I’ve written in the past about employee "ambassadors" and how important every individual’s role is in shaping an organization’s image and reputation with customers. A boorish receptionist can kill a new business experience. An impolite account executive can damage an existing relationship. Even a poorly worded communiqué can undo months or years of trust between client and agency.
So, when I received an unsolicited pitch letter from the Flatiron Database Marketing Company, I thought it would make for a good example of what not to do.
Beyond the hype and hyperbole in the letter from the telemarketing firm, what struck me was the abysmal quality of the paper stock and type. The ink was smudged in several places and many words were virtually impossible to read. In fact, I just noticed that some of the ink rubbed off on my shirt and has left a permanent mark. What a nice way to start my day.
Does Flatiron Database Marketing actually expect someone to react positively to such a solicitation? ‘Oh boy, those guys who just sent me the illegible letter with the ink that just rubbed off and ruined my shirt would be ideal to help me build sales.’ C’mon. This correspondence deserves to be framed and displayed in the National Sales Hall of Shame’s unsolicited pitch letters wing.
Last, but not least, I simply don’t believe telemarketing is appropriate in my field. My rationale is simple: I don’t do business with people who cold call me, so why should I expect some prospect to act differently?
The Flatiron letter was a distasteful reminder of how important the little things are to an organization’s overall image. Hey, do you think they’ll pay for my shirt’s dry cleaning? If they do, I promise to visit the Hall of Shame.