Just before the Christmas holiday, I received an email and voicemail from a marketing executive at a major retail company.
She was very interested in a mobile app we had developed for another major retailer. Because of the timing I did not respond immediately, but after the holiday I started reaching out to her.
I tried calling, but her voicemail was full.
I sent several emails, but none of them were worthy of a reply.
It wasn’t until a month later that we had plans to be in San Francisco that I sent her another email letting her know we’d like to stop by and chat with her for a few minutes while in town.
She agreed and sent a meeting invitation to us.
In this case, persistence pays off!
While in another meeting, just a couple of hours before our scheduled meeting with her, she emails me, “I’m really busy can we reschedule for February?”. I respond that we might not have the availability in February and would prefer to meet today while in town.
She agreed to keep the meeting.
Persistence pays off yet again!
It is important to understand that this whole time, I have been operating under the assumption that she knew who I was and was just really busy. After all she did reach out to us.
Once we got to her office and signed in, her greeting was ice-cold, like something you would expect from a cold call. She took us to a conference room. We sat down and expecting she would start the conversation, she just stared at us with a look that said, why are you wasting my time?
So we started talking, after what felt like a very long 10 minutes, we said something that triggered a memory and she finally realized who we were!
This whole time she thought we were some company off the street trying to get on the vendor list or pitch a service they didn’t need.
Once she made the connection the entire atmosphere changed and she got really excited. The meeting went for about an hour, she introduced us to her boss and scheduled time for another meeting in February.
The lesson I learned was a very important one. Don’t make assumptions. Remind people why you are contacting them. And if possible send them something that will help them make the mental recall.
For example, I could have sent her a link to the article she found which lead her to us. I could have mentioned the other company and the name of the app we developed for them.
Never assume someone remembers who you are just because they contacted you first. You’re not that important! 😉