Bons mots

Slips of my tongue

Son of Son of a Pitch!

UPDATE to Son of a Pitch!

The day after the arrival of Cardboard Dave, the flesh-and-blood one called me. He sheepishly asked me if I received his package, then stated that he wasn’t egotistical; the idea was his marketing departments. (Um, you are the VP of Integrated Marketing, so I assume you have a say in their campaigns?)

In my most pleasant voice, I gave him feedback on this, the most ostentatious marketing campaign I have ever witnessed. (See my original post for my thoughts.) While I understood the reasoning behind it, and how tough it is to get into an organization to pitch your product/services for the first time, I told Dave a more personal touch would have worked for me. It got me in a lot of doors in my previous job. He thanked me for my thoughts and promised to relay this to his marketing department.

I could only promise Dave I would ask my Director if he’d be interested in a meeting and the conversation was closed.

I received this email five minutes later:

From: ODA Info
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 3:14 PM
To: Bonnie Dean
Subject:FW: From XX…

From: Dave
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 2:44 PM
To:ODA Info
Subject: From XX…

Hi there-

If you could please forward to Bonnie Dean, that would be most appreciated!



Hi Bonnie-

Thanks for the conversation on the phone earlier today. Hope you don’t mind me sending through the info@ email address… [Um, yes, I do.]

It was great to get some constructive feedback from you on our sales approach, and I would completely agree that a customized message is 100% more beneficial (and effective). I’m sorry Big Dave turned out to be cumbersome for you…we can come and remove him from your office if you wish…

I did have a deeper look on the site and what better way to address your #1 core goal which is “to promote optimal oral health” than to turn the association inside out from a consumer perspective, brand your url, and serve up relevant, interesting dental education content that is completely user-friendly and very current. I’ll go out on a limb and suggest this is more progressive than some of the associations we’ve worked with in the past…

I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me…if there’s a chance to meet, that’s great and if not…all the best and here’s to dental hygiene!

Have a great weekend.


I promptly declined his offer of a meeting. Here’s why:

  • If he dug into our website and opened one of our news releases, my email address is at the bottom of every release. Why not take the time to search it out?
  • His ideas for our website? We did that a year ago with a complete overhaul of the site to appeal to the public. We think it’s pretty rad. Is he saying our content isn’t relevant, interesting or user-friendly? (Take a look and you be the judge.) Isn’t it a tad counterproductive to criticize the website of the company you wish to work with? Instead of insinuating that it could be improved, perhaps offer suggestions on how to add to its greatness. Flattery does get you places.

I still have Cardboard Dave looming behind me, and the search is on for a life-size picture of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s face to superimpose on his mug. The only good things to come out of this was a few blog posts and hopefully, a life-sized, cardboard cut-out of the Comedian watching my back.


April 2, 2009 - Posted by | FAIL | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Well it seems to me that “Big Dave” has missed an opportunity here by not asking a few simple questions while he had you on the phone designed to remove any negative impressions from the cardboard cut out delivery – such as confirming your contact details.

    I think although others may have different views here it does say a lot about “sales pitches” being tailor made and that can only come from research, research and more research on your prospect and developing a way to personalize your relationship with – let alone your pitch to – them. Pitching solutions (based on your actual needs) would have been more successful here than simply pitching the services he could have provided to you.

    As always Bon…thanks for sharing your experience – it ensures that we keep the mantra “every client is unique” at the top of our sales strategy plans. Cheers,


    Comment by Andy Donovan | April 7, 2009 | Reply

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