missed-opportunitiesI don’t talk about it much at all: I have a second career as a soccer coach and president of a local competitive club. Routinely, I receive solicitations from various vendors wanting our business in everything from photographer to uniform and spirit-wear supplier.  This morning I received an email from a company wanting to help us with fundraising — it badly missed the mark.

The problem with the email was twofold:

They sold themselves without selling me

The email listed all of the fundraising activities they support, but didn’t once mention a success story, tell me how much money we should expect to raise, or otherwise mention how we would benefit from a business relationship with their company.

The close left me feeling my time would be wasted if we talked

They closed the email by saying they looked forward to a conversation with me to learn more about our club. Seriously, they should know about my club before they contacted me — everything is online regarding our club size, locations, organization, age-groups, etc.

Admittedly, they don’t know our financial situation and current fundraising activities, but neither really matters. Even the healthiest non-profit organizations can use more money.

I’m an easy going guy who gives time to others all over the place, but I’m not interested in taking a call to talk about our club or business to a prospective vendor who doesn’t establish a benefit driving a compelling reason to talk.

The lesson for us all

The takeaway is simple: make all of your customer communications about the customer and don’t ask for a prospect’s time to learn about them and their needs. Instead, know who you’re contacting, offer something of value, relate it to a previous success, and request a discussion about how you can replicate that success with them.

What say you?

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