Recently, I had a run in with a sales person from Patch.com. He had met my marketing person who thought that their service sounded like a good idea. I met with them obtained a quote and let them know we were putting everything into the budget. We decided to move some of our advertising dollars from a local paper to Patch.com.
The follow-up lost it for them. The sales representative came to our office and explained to my marketing representative that the offer was set to expire that day unless I signed the deal. The sales representative informed my employee that he had explained this deadline at the meeting, emailed me about the issue, and called me to discuss the issue. The voice mail was left a couple of minutes before contacting my employee and there was never an email or any mention of a deadline. We probably could have gotten the same deal if we wanted to today, but do I really want to deal with such silliness and lack of integrity in selling?
I do not. Life is too short. The medium they have to offer won’t make or break us, though it might expose us to a different audience than what we could get elsewhere. But, I don’t want to work with sales people who treat my company this way. More importantly, I don’t want my sales people to think that it’s appropriate to treat their customers in this fashion.
Clearly, services and products need to be sold, but the credibility of the sales person will disintegrate quickly once falsehoods and misrepresentations enter the equation. It’s not as though the deal was tiny or unsubstantial. Our lifetime value (LTV) to the Web site would be measured in tens of thousands of dollars if he got us through the first year successfully. Instead, our LTV to Patch.com is zero.