Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Need to Apologize?

I was reading Seth Godin’s Blog and came across item 12

“If it is a cold-call email, and I'm sure it's welcome, and I'm sure it's not spam, then don't apologize. If I need to apologize, then yes, it's spam, and I'll get the brand-hurt I deserve.”

Ah! The Old “Apology” Trick.

It strikes me most commonly when I’m out with a friend. “I was thinking of {doing this}. What do you think?”.

95% of the time they shouldn’t do it.

It’s a parent-child thing; deep down inside the child knows it is wrong, yet if daddy says it’s OK, then we can go ahead and do it, even though it violates principles, because daddy said we could.

It happens in business too.

A Simple Example:

I’m thinking of doing a one-off email-blast to inform all my contacts that I {insert thought here}. Do you think that’ll be OK?”.

(Here they are playing on my “Answer is always YES” bent)

The answer is NO. If you feel that you need to ask permission, there’s a 95% probability it is the wrong thing to do.

In the email example, you KNOW you’ve been doing such a bad job of staying in touch with people that this is just a cheap way to get their attention.

It Won’t Work

They remember you, but they don’t care about you, yet.

If I need to apologize up-front for sending this email, that’s a sign that I knew, before I sent it, that I shouldn’t be sending it.

Test this yourself. Next time someone asks “Would it be all right?” about their impact on a 3rd-party, I’ll bet you should respond ‘NO!”.

Just DON’T do it

Talk to Me !

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