I received the below Email inquiry last week from an S&P 500 company, one of the world’s most prestigious cosmetics brands – I’ve modified slightly, to respect the privacy of both the brand/author, as well as the event itself. Take a look at it, and let me know what you think:
I’m interested in potentially hosting a ~1hr trivia night for an offsite next week. We will be at an offsite at the Gansevoort Park Hotel and will have 45 participants.
If you have availability for that night, I’d love some information on the following:
— Are we able to customize the questions to add some beauty-related trivia?
— What is the cost estimate?
Thank you for your help!
The writer didn’t use our Website’s contact form, which would have helped me to understand right away the nature of the event, who would be in attendance, what services they are seeking, and their event budget. To the contrary, one can see how this Email is extremely generic, not personalized in any way, and clearly a copy/paste job (and a hastily-written one at that). She’s not at all interested in our offerings, what we do, or how we differ from other NYC trivia companies – in fact, beyond wanting to confirm basic customization, the only questions she really wants answered are A) are we available, B) how much do we cost.
To me, this means this person was given a task of researching/compiling a bunch of options for Manhattan corporate event entertainment, and to do so quickly – the event is only next week. I must assume that she is simultaneously reaching out to many other NYC corporate entertainers, and that she (or likely her boss) will be making a decision based not on quality, experience, expertise or professionalism – but rather on availability and price.
My suspicions were confirmed when I wrote back immediately with the answers to her three questions and more, but did not receive a reply; wanting to ensure my Email didn’t inadvertently go to “spam,” I called and left a voicemail – to which I received the below Email response several hours later:
Thanks for the overview! I am working out a couple things with my team, so let me get back to you by the end of the day if you don’t mind.
Needless to say, I did NOT hear back from this person by the end of the day – nor were my follow-up Emails answered.
I wish I could say these sort of interactions were uncommon, however as a provider of New York City corporate entertainment activities, I regrettably encounter rudeness by potential clients more often than I care to. However, what this above interaction made me wonder is: does she have a point? As a service industry professional, I have built the TrivWorks brand around the belief that service conquers all; no quality event experience can be delivered without exceptional client service, from beginning to end. You will notice I replied to this incredibly low-probability prospective client immediately, and I can assure you it was with as much professionalism and enthusiasm as I could muster via Email (had I gotten her on the phone, it would have been even more so). Had she hired me, she would have seen how much care and attention I give to each and every event, and how I would go out of my way to make her feel like she is my only client.
But that’s not what she wanted. She wanted to know A) am I available, and B) how much do I cost.
When it comes right down to it, that means she’s making her decision based on cost – which means some other lower-priced vendor (and I’m willing to bet MUCH lower) won the business.
And again, my question is: is that such a bad thing?
As stated time and again, both on this blog and elsewhere, when it comes to services, you typically get what you pay for. If price is truly the determining factor, you must also realize that you will likely not receive the level of quality, professionalism and service which you would otherwise receive from a higher-priced brand.