Bausch & Lomb wants to do business with me?

What follows is a short tale of a creative sales pitch I received over the phone this week which either inadvertently or intentionally turned into an outright lie.

On the heels of our earlier posts this week about PR agencies spamming bloggers, here's another example of business communicators (telemarketers and sales people in this instance) failing to do their homework before they conduct their outreach efforts, such as sending a press release or dialing the telephone.

Some background:
I am on many marketing lists of HR vendors and suppliers. I have certainly opt-ed in to many of these lists. I'm ad avid consumer of marketing-related media and I do not mind getting (mostly misdirected) telemarketing phone calls one bit.

I got a call earlier this week from a well know event organizer in the HR space.

The call went something like this (note: Private Number appeared on my caller ID...).

Hello Mr. Goodman, my name is Ted (not the person's actual name). How are you today?

Fine, I reply, how are you?

Ok... the weather is warm in Toronto...no complaints, said the caller.

What can I do for you?

Well, I am calling today because of your position in the Human Capital space. As part of our work here at [my organization] we have been discussing human capital challenges with senior human resource executives at leading companies (note: Bausch & Lomb was mentioned among others) and these executives brought up your company as potential solution to some of the challenges they are facing. So, we're calling because of our conversations these companies who specifically brought up your name to us as a human capital provider.

(Really! I think to myself. Should I let this poor and misguided attempt to gain my interest continue? I decided to cut it short).

Ted, I am very aware of your company, and while that's a very creative pitch, the notion that a leading company's HR executive would reference my company by name strains credibility. We are not an HR vendor, we just happen to work with many of them. Now, knowing that, is there anything else I might help you with?

Ted fumbled a few more words, apologized for the "misunderstanding," wrapped up the call and hung up.

I did alert a senior representative at this event organizer, received a "sorry" and a mention that this practice is coming from "a new division" and it's "not a practice we do here."

So why write this in a blog post?

So, my urgent plea. C'mon event organizers... Get it together!

Posted by Jonathan Goodman

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