I believe that you should treat people in business as you would treat a friend. And by people, I mean everyone: customers, employees, sales reps, the list goes on.
As it would seem, that’s unfortunately not often the case with everyone else in the world.
I have a business friend who writes a fun little blog about no, not how to do business, but rather how NOT to do business. It’s a shame to me that she has to write it at all, but what’s really shameful is that she has so much to write about. (I’m not sure she wants it to be a public read, so I won’t link it here, unless she asks me to later down the road – at which point I’ll be glad to… so that anyone who has the opportunity to read it, can have the opportunity to think twice before acting like the people in her stories.)
So in my own little tribute to how not to do business, here’s my thoughts on mass-messaging your clients and potential clients with a tasty offer.
I received an email in my inbox today (from a very popular source – who will remain nameless) offering a nice gift certificate, of fairly decent value, to all new subscribers of their service.
What’s wrong with that you ask? I’d like to kindly remind said-emailer of the wonders of mass customization and I’m very shocked they’re not using it to their advantage.
My main concern with the way this marketing message was delivered, is that last week I received a bill to renew my yearly service with them… for $200. Now, that’s no major investment, but it’s also not chump change to a small business.
8/14/08 Update: For those of you who’d enjoy learning from the mistakes of others… here’s the link to (another) Lisa’s blog about how not to do business!