22 May 2008

One Of These Clients is Not Like The Other

No one likes to be generalized. Lumped into a pile. Labeled. Assumed to be just like anyone else. And clients and customers are no different.

Sure, we may share certain tastes, values, opinions. But we're individuals and prefer to be treated that way.

Take the case of a woman we'll call Amy. She's a super talented friend of mine in the marketing world, and she's on the Big Job Hunt for a sparkly new position that will really let her show her stuff. So she's doing all the right things - networking, using her professional organization contacts, and she even met with a recruiter who sought her out. Which is where the trouble began.

Right off the bat, she's a senior level person and this firm is accustomed to a great deal of freelancers coming through their doors. They sent her a 14 page "application" to fill out, full of standard HIRE paperwork like tax forms and employment agreements (as would be appropriate for a freelancer, I assume). She hadn't even set foot through the door yet. The form email she got about her interview was clearly geared toward freelancers, didn't even have her name on it, and was chock full of information that didn't apply to her.

So before she's even met anyone, she's been made to feel like a number on a list. She asked questions like "did they even read my resume?" and "do they have any idea what I'm looking for in a career?". It sure didn't feel like it. At the very least, they could have taken out the verbiage and paperwork that was freelance-specific. But they succeeded in making Amy feel like a dollar sign to them.

We're all busy, and it's easy to give into the temptation of tossing out blanket communications in hopes of reaching many people at once. But while your clients and customers may share affinities for certain products or activities, don't make assumptions, and be careful about how you generalize the information you send out.

An extra five minutes to segment your email list or put a personal note on a direct mail postcard might be the difference between making that client or customer feel like a valued and understood member of your larger community or making them feel like a number on your mailing list.

No comments:

22 May 2008

One Of These Clients is Not Like The Other

No one likes to be generalized. Lumped into a pile. Labeled. Assumed to be just like anyone else. And clients and customers are no different.

Sure, we may share certain tastes, values, opinions. But we're individuals and prefer to be treated that way.

Take the case of a woman we'll call Amy. She's a super talented friend of mine in the marketing world, and she's on the Big Job Hunt for a sparkly new position that will really let her show her stuff. So she's doing all the right things - networking, using her professional organization contacts, and she even met with a recruiter who sought her out. Which is where the trouble began.

Right off the bat, she's a senior level person and this firm is accustomed to a great deal of freelancers coming through their doors. They sent her a 14 page "application" to fill out, full of standard HIRE paperwork like tax forms and employment agreements (as would be appropriate for a freelancer, I assume). She hadn't even set foot through the door yet. The form email she got about her interview was clearly geared toward freelancers, didn't even have her name on it, and was chock full of information that didn't apply to her.

So before she's even met anyone, she's been made to feel like a number on a list. She asked questions like "did they even read my resume?" and "do they have any idea what I'm looking for in a career?". It sure didn't feel like it. At the very least, they could have taken out the verbiage and paperwork that was freelance-specific. But they succeeded in making Amy feel like a dollar sign to them.

We're all busy, and it's easy to give into the temptation of tossing out blanket communications in hopes of reaching many people at once. But while your clients and customers may share affinities for certain products or activities, don't make assumptions, and be careful about how you generalize the information you send out.

An extra five minutes to segment your email list or put a personal note on a direct mail postcard might be the difference between making that client or customer feel like a valued and understood member of your larger community or making them feel like a number on your mailing list.

No comments:

22 May 2008

One Of These Clients is Not Like The Other

No one likes to be generalized. Lumped into a pile. Labeled. Assumed to be just like anyone else. And clients and customers are no different.

Sure, we may share certain tastes, values, opinions. But we're individuals and prefer to be treated that way.

Take the case of a woman we'll call Amy. She's a super talented friend of mine in the marketing world, and she's on the Big Job Hunt for a sparkly new position that will really let her show her stuff. So she's doing all the right things - networking, using her professional organization contacts, and she even met with a recruiter who sought her out. Which is where the trouble began.

Right off the bat, she's a senior level person and this firm is accustomed to a great deal of freelancers coming through their doors. They sent her a 14 page "application" to fill out, full of standard HIRE paperwork like tax forms and employment agreements (as would be appropriate for a freelancer, I assume). She hadn't even set foot through the door yet. The form email she got about her interview was clearly geared toward freelancers, didn't even have her name on it, and was chock full of information that didn't apply to her.

So before she's even met anyone, she's been made to feel like a number on a list. She asked questions like "did they even read my resume?" and "do they have any idea what I'm looking for in a career?". It sure didn't feel like it. At the very least, they could have taken out the verbiage and paperwork that was freelance-specific. But they succeeded in making Amy feel like a dollar sign to them.

We're all busy, and it's easy to give into the temptation of tossing out blanket communications in hopes of reaching many people at once. But while your clients and customers may share affinities for certain products or activities, don't make assumptions, and be careful about how you generalize the information you send out.

An extra five minutes to segment your email list or put a personal note on a direct mail postcard might be the difference between making that client or customer feel like a valued and understood member of your larger community or making them feel like a number on your mailing list.

No comments: