Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Mountain and Mohammed

Two issues here
Issue One
I delivered two days training last week, and at the end of the course confirmed the spelling of the names of all attendees, printed the certificates and mailed them off.
Two days later an email from my client “You forgot to sign the certificates”.
She is right, I did.
I don’t feel like asking the client to expend resources on my mistake, so I have rented a car for Friday to drive 45 minutes west, sign 12 certificates with a regular ball-point pen, and that’s it.
An Eighty-Dollar mistake, and one I had better learn.
All is not lost.
I emailed a client on the OTHER side of town and set up a lunch date; they agreed. So I’ll get a bit more use out of the car rental - a face-to-face meeting with a client I would not otherwise meet.
Issue Two
I attended a seminar this week and exchanged business cards with about six attendees. One telephoned me today, “Let’s meet to let me show you what I have to offer. How is your schedule?”.
My schedule is free, but I don’t own a car (see “Issue One” above), and I don’t feel like spending an hour each way on Public Transit to have someone try to sell me something.
Since my potential supplier lives downtown and drives to work alongside a major highway, I suggested that she drive to me and I’d buy breakfast, lunch or an early supper. We could discuss business over a casual meal.
No go.
She doesn’t do business that way; it is “sit down with paper and pencil”, which is, coincidentally, how I like to do business.
After some cajoling I wheedled a concession from the person who’d like to take my money, that we might arrange a meal at some unspecified date in the future, when, if she is in the vicinity on other business, she could kill two birds with one stone.
And I’m paying for the meal. No problems there.
Whether they request it or not, it seems to me that is the seller’s responsibility to adapt to the buyer’s requirements.
If adaptation can not be achieved, then the two parties are probably too far apart to do business.

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