Note from Art: this is a rave, however, I am not disclosing the firm’s name out of discretion. They earned that for a lifetime of service up until this recent episode. And importantly, the goal is not to pick on this firm as much as it is to illustrate a point. I directed my annoyance in a note to the firm’s CEO. I’m still waiting for a response.
I’ve been a lifetime client of a particular hotel chain…with favorite properties in different cities, and more nights than I care to count spent in one of their convenient locations somewhere around the world.
Imagine my surprise when in a fit of insanity, I picked up the phone the other night….right after dinner (well, I answered because the caller i.d. indicated the Hotel Chain’s name, and because the troops had the dishes will in hand), and I ended up on the receiving end of an old-fashioned marketing bludgeoning.
Run on sentence for dramatization: From “Hello,” the representative from “Hotel Chain Name” Vacation Clubs launched into a breathless pitch on why my family and I should take them up on their offer to visit an Orlando property for a low, low price, not per person, but for up to x people, and that we would only have to spend 90 minutes in a meeting with them and so forth and so on etc., etc., until I started to turn blue in the face, worrying about this individual running out of air. Michael Phelps should have such good breath control.
I politely disengaged with the unwitting telemarketer, and saved my marketing outrage for the note I wrote the CEO and for this post.
You Must Be Kidding!
Seriously, Hotel Chain! You think so highly of the relationships with your clients that you’re engaging in tactics like this to reward them for years of business. Your “thanks” for patronizing your properties, holding sales meetings and conferences and sending teams out to far-away places to camp out for weeks on end in support of clients, is to call your clients and subject them to a Hall of Shame sales pitch for a time-share?
1. Fire the marketer who conceived of this program.
2. Fire his/her boss.
3. Rethink the value of your relationship with your customers. Is this truly a good way to get them interested in spending more money with you?
4. While you are working on #3 above, rethink the value and meaning of your brand. People have spent careers getting to know, like and trust you, and your response is to try and cram a time-share sale down their throats!?!
5. Hire someone who understands how to strengthen relationships and engage clients with approaches that don’t reek of 1950’s era aluminum siding sales.
6. Please have your team spend some time with John Jantsch (Duct Tape Marketing) and David Meerman Scott (New Rules of Marketing & P.R.).
7. Please take my name off of all of your lists.
The Bottom-Line for Now:
In this case, one dumb ass marketing tactic wipes out a good portion of a lifetime of great experiences. For the rest of us, remember that it never makes sense to try and bludgeon your clients into spending more with you. There’s always a better way.