Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to lose a Customer forever in 3 easy steps

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."
-     Pablo Picasso
I normally write about all things Learning, but this just struck me so profoundly that I feel it has implications across all vocations.  It all started with an email.   Now I understand that people need to market themselves, and everyone is busy.  I get many emails marketing a product or service every day.  And I almost always at least scan them.  But one I got today was truly memorable.

I will never do business with this company, or anyone connected with them.

The first indicator?   The opening line:  

I noticed that you are the Global Learning Manager/Instructional Systems Desi? at ....

No, you didn't notice anything.  The title line in your automation program has a character limit and it is clearly a mystery to you.  There is nothing so endearing as a form letter.  It just exudes "I don't care."

It gets better.

You can send an e-mail reply with a detailed... 

Isn't that swell.   I can do their discovery for them!  I appreciate someone helping me clear out all of that spare time I have every day.   Occasionally I audit our Sales training.  In a recent course where new sales people were practicing their pitch one of them kindly implored me to go to our web site and search for what was relevant to me.   My gut response was negative. "If you're not willing to take a few minutes to assemble a few pieces of content you feel are relevant to my business, then why should I?"

Maybe the best part is the closing.  The email is signed with a first name, last initial.   Really?  You aren't even going to leave me with your name?  Now I feel special.

Let's contrast that with another individual who contacted me via LinkedIn.   She sent a short, personal note that she would like to connect and perhaps discuss opportunities.   I read her profile, was intrigued, and we had a great conversation.   If I ever have an opportunity to do business with her she will be the first person that comes to mind.

People that really want to connect with me in my professional life ask questions, they don't start by offering me answers.  They start with my opinion, not my wallet.

And just to wrap it up in a Learning blanket, this should remind us to never, ever forget the Adult Learning Principles.  Specifically, Adults learn when they feel appreciated.

Yes.  Yes we do.

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