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How to Be a Lousy General Manager

It’s easy, just answer a query about your company by putting the writer on a mailing list rather than accept his offer to meet. This was a $140,000 mistake made in real life.

I recently wrote someone to meet about a future project for a customer. The  dollar value of a project we are looking at would be around $140K. The email I got back wasn’t very enticing. It had a heavy PDF attached  with nothing I didn’t already know about the company. What’s important is what comes next:
 
I wrote asking to meet, as we’re in the same city. No answer. My  partner met this person subsequently and the guy confirmed getting my message.
 
Zoom forward several weeks. Today, I received a mass mailing to my  address with news from this company. I replied asking him remove my  address from the mailing list and that subsequent mailings would be  reported as spam. Here’s what he answered:
 
“I was thinking you would be interested by this newsletter. If you don’t wish to receive this newsletter anymore, you can unsubscribe directly.”
 
Bzzzzzzz BAD answer. I replied that one doesn’t opt out of UBE which  is Unsolicited Bulk Email (aka spam) and when I ask to be removed, you  don’t make me jump through hoops to be removed from a list I never  asked to be put on.
 
He then answered beginning with “I am the General Director of Vin……a…”. Ok, this is a small company in the already crowded wine social web space, trying hard to get traction. They could use a real job about now. Why didn’t a meeting happen, even with another employee?
 
I do not wish further discourse with this person, but here’s what my thought is:
 
As General Director of a company, you just spit on being a part of a  $140,000 deal with a brand name more prestigious than any in your PDF. This would be a stupid mistake for a sales repo, let a lone the general manager of a company.
 
One: Admit you’re wrong, it doesn’t cost you anything. Almost any error is savable (except if it involves atomic energy)
 
Two: Don’t bandy about your title to people, it means nothing to me.  You probably made it up anyway.
 
Three: What part of UNSOLICITED do you not get? Bad enough to send  this crap out, but never ask me to opt out of something I did not opt into.
 
I feel like we’re back in 1998.

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