Sorry, we can't sell to you right now, we're in the middle of designing our new advertising campaign.

I telephoned to speak with a person who had attended a seminar I gave in Cairns (Great Barrier Reef - for those readers not familiar with Australia's north-eastern coast). This person worked for Quicksilver, the high speed catamaran that travels out to the islands. The individual who answered my call promptly informed me, "No, she quit two weeks ago."

"May I speak with someone about booking a day-trip for my in-laws who will be in Cairns at a conference?"
"Transferring you."
New voice: "You want Meredith's phone number?"
"Well, no ... I understand she has left your organization. I want to book a day-cruise for my in-laws who will be in Cairns at a conference."
"Call back on the number you originally dialed and speak with reservations."
The telephone was then promptly disconnected before I could utter another word.

Without regurgitating all the obvious customer service implications, which all of you are smart enough to recognise; here is one subtlety ...
On two occasions with different people, I used the words: "be in Cairns at a conference."

What type of conference, Mr Willmot?
Is this a state or national conference?
How many people are attending?
Are their spouses involved in any formalised social outings whilst the conference is in action?

It just so happens that my father-in-law was an Executive Director for Toll North, one of Australia's largest logistics companies and there were more than 600 delegates plus their spouses attending. Cairns is a small place in comparison; do you think the spouses may have enjoyed an arranged boat cruise out to the gorgeous Great Barrier Reef while their partners are slogging away in the conference hall?

It matters not, how clever your marketing is, it only takes minutes to extirpate future money from would-be customers. Unless your team understand and desire to be a part of your organisation's success, any marketing campaign to attract new customers is purblind and for the most part fallowed.

Ric Willmot
Strategist to the Professions
www.ExecuitveWisdom.com
www.RicWillmot.com

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