A number of things happened to me last week that made stop and pause. I also then tried to think if I would let someone from my company do the same thing. Each one kind of bummed me out and made me want to do one of the following:
2. Throw a Tantrum (sort of a tiny one)
3. Yell at Someone (just kind of raised my voice a tad)
4. Cry (okay maybe I just welled up a tiny bit)
Bad Sales Tactic 101 "The Hard Sale"
I got a voice mail message from a sales representative (first clue, should have been the editor or a reporter) from a Pet Trade Magazine saying they wanted to do a feature on my company and our products in the June issue. I was stoked - this was great news, and would be a big boost to our personalized line of pet products.
I immediately called her back and asked what they would need from me. The sales rep says that to feature us they are hoping we would buy and advertisement for the June issue - in fact it was a prerequisite. She even went so far as to push me that they have gotten our press releases (not true, the trade magazine came out this year and we have not sent them any releases) and have featured us (not true we have never been in the magazine) so now they want us to return the favor. I kept trying to interrupt her and tell her we do not have a advertising budget and I do not believe in advertising when I am attending a trade show. She keeps cutting me off so I blurt out, "We did not PAY to be on the Ellen DeGeneres Show." This went on for a good five minutes until I said "Sweetie we are not interested in your magazine" and then I hung up.
I would NEVER give a HARD sale to someone...er I should say FAKE sell someone, pretending that it is publicity. I would call it a bait and switch. And I should not have allowed myself to be pulled into her stupid (I know it's a bad word Abby....but it's true) argument about MY company.
We paid....We KNOW We Paid
Our final payment was due for a certain gift show we are going to be attending this summer. We faxed in our payment days before the money was due. The fax cover sheet even had a phone number and an email to reach us if there was a problem with the payment. There were strict guidelines as to WHO to contact and WHAT to do....<pregnant pause>....Yes, you guessed it there was a problem. Did anyone contact us last week? No. Did anyone email us last week? No. Did someone finally send an email (to the wrong person) late Saturday claiming it was not correct? Yes.
Now we are possibly going to be faced with a late fee and we have called emailed and faxed over the information again........and have left numerous voice mails. No one has emailed us back yet.
This is an example of very bad customer service. Not to mention leaving us wringing our hands a bit afraid of losing our booth and/or having a late fee to pay. I want to never NOT call someone back that has a problem with a payment. Come on people if you do not want to talk to someone that is what email is for.
Dude Where is my Restroom?
Last week I took my children to a popular fabric/craft store. I go there if we run out of a ribbon, want to see what new ribbons are out there, new paint, paint brushes, fabric ideas, crafts for kids....Well, up until recently I was able to go there with my children. About two minutes after arriving someone (Abby) announced she had to use the restroom. As of sometime in February of this year they closed the bathrooms and refused to let customers use them. If you have a toddler you KNOW this can be a problem. We had to travel to no less than four nearby shops to find a toilet for her.
When I returned to the store I was a bit kinder and calmer (having my daughter NOT empty her bladder in the button section) so I asked the cashier why they would close the bathrooms. She said that the legal council for the store decided instead of spending the money to make all the bathrooms handicapped equipped they decided to close them. She even said that it was ridiculous since the customer base is Moms and elderly women.
I want to never get so big as to not allow someone to use my bathroom because I cannot spend a bit of money to put hand rails up.
Whose Idea is it Anyway?
I have had a lot of publicity, I have been very fortunate that it has helped my business grow and give us validity. It has also opened many doors for me and my company. After a particular interview I decided to share some ideas I had with the "publicity type people" and I then agreed to introduce them to some other companies I could work with for another "story about my company". Well yesterday saw the story come to fruition........without me, without letting me know the story was coming on (we are still in contact via email).
This bummed me out a bit, though I am glad I was able to introduce someone and help make a connection. And, I should have kept my big mouth shut. So, I will put on my big girl panties and stop whinning about my week. We all know it could have been worse....