People are strange beasts. Some can be so warm and engaging. So ready to go out of their way to help.
Others, though, can be unbelievably self-centered and insensitive. And, on this dark and gloomy day, I thought I’d focus on the latter group.
In just the past few weeks alone, I’ve sat alongside friends, associates and acquaintances, all under the guise of "getting together to catch up." Instead of catching up, though, it seems I always end up listening to a one-sided, never-ending litany of what’s new with them, their jobs, their kids, their ailments. You name it. They seem to love to update me.
Yesterday, for example, I sat through an endless progression of high school and college memorabilia trotted out by a friend of my wife’s. While it was interesting to a point, it just went on and on. And, not once did this guy ask me one question about me or what was going on in my life. This seems to happen to me all the time. Maybe I have that, "Hey, tell me your life story" look on my face.
Moving right along to insensitivity, our agency was just informed we didn’t win a piece of business we’d been pitching for god knows how long. The prospect was totally disingenuous throughout the process. First, she told us they wanted to work with us. After the initial meeting, she asked for proposal and budget, saying they wanted to get started asap. So, we submitted the plan and waited. Weeks passed. We checked back in. The prospect said they still wanted to work with us, but now we had to sit on a conference call with a bunch of senior players who had questions about the plan we’d submitted. So, we did. The senior players proceeded to shoot the shit out of the original plan (which the prospect had loved btw). Needless to say, the prospect didn’t defend us or the plan during the call. Based upon the new direction, we were asked to revise the plan and present it in person. Wary of the changing weather patterns, we asked if we were still the lone agency. We were assured we were. So, our team went to the prospect’s office and gave the presentation. As our group was leaving, we bumped into another agency’s pitch team. Nice. Very nice. And, today we got the call saying the other firm had gotten the business because they had brought a larger team. Oh brother.
I’m a firm believer in the adage, "what goes around comes around." This prospect will undoubtedly "get hers" one day down the road. As for the boorish people who ask to get together to "catch up," but instead talk only about themselves, maybe I should tape the conversations and send them, along with a cover note saying, "It was great to catch up. Let me know if you’d like me to elaborate on any of the points covered in the cassette."