According to Wikipedia, B2B is defined as “commerce transactions between businesses, such as between a manufacturer and a wholesaler, or between a wholesaler and a retailer”.
Every business relies on other businesses to some extent to help them run their own. Where else would they get their exceptional print marketing material, their laptops, office furniture, water coolers. The list is endless. With this in mind, here comes my filet mignon for September……
SM1 Print Studio exhibited at the South East Business Show back in May. After a successful day’s worth of networking with the attendees and the exhibitors, we wanted to do a follow up campaign saying ‘hello, remember us, it was nice to have met you at the show.’ You know the drill.
Upon our return we find out that the courier lost one of our exhibition boxes containing all of our leads. The horror!! But, I decided not to give up hope and contacted some of the exhibitors I knew I had spoken to.
At least I had the company names from the exhibition list and all I had to do was give them a quick call, say ‘hi, remember me’, and collect their contact information. Simple, I thought… Sadly no, it wasn’t.
Conversations generally went as follows:
Me: ‘Hello, can I speak to your marketing manager please?’
Them: ‘We are not allowed to put you through to the marketing manager.’
Me: ‘OK, can I have their contact details? I would like to send them an email.’
Them: ‘We are not allowed to give out employee contact details.’
Me: ‘OK, but I met them at the SEBS show last week and wanted to touch base.’
Them: ‘What was their name?’
Me: ‘I can’t remember, that’s why I asked to speak to the marketing manager.’
Them: ‘I’m sorry, we can’t put you through to the marketing manager.’
Am I completely missing something here? I really don’t understand why businesses make it impossible to speak to employees. Have you any ideas why this would be? To me it’s a terrible company policy!
I can totally understand this policy when it concerns B2C. In fact, I constantly unsubscribe from unwanted emails and have ‘No Junk Mail’ stickers plastered across my drive-way, porch and front door.
Understandably, many people see this as an intrusion into their private lives. But is this way of life now happening in the workplace? Technically we are just the same people when we are at work, but instead, we’re sitting at a desk with smarter clothes on and a smile on our faces when we answer the phone. Is our perception of unwanted calls, emails and mailers the same at work as at home?
I am a learned marketer and know from trial, error and having attended many conferences, that marketing to someone who has shown an interest in your product or service is a ‘lead’. All leads must be nurtured, cared for and loved, via some form of follow up communication!
My call was not irrelevant. It was hardly cold (luke warm I would admit to), as I had spoken to them merely one week prior. I’d even done a little research into their company. I had remembered their issues (but sadly not their names). I was, at least I thought, ready to salvage some leads from the show.
It turned out that at least half of the companies I called would not divulge their company details, no matter how I went about the dialogue. However, I am extremely persistent and love a challenge, so I’m not ashamed to admit a little Machiavellian phrasing.
Having to find sneaky ways to speak to a company’s marketing manager is a great shame. Businesses are missing out on new high quality services, time saving solutions, opportunities to save money, and that’s just from us!
What do you think? Should businesses make it easier to get through to important people in the company or are they right to put up the communication barriers?