a little courtesy is all we ask

A few weeks ago we were invited by a northern based bus operator to discuss their future marketing requirements.

The potential client had made it clear in their email that they were looking to contract one creative partner to deliver work against their marketing objectives, and that a select few agencies had been asked to meet them for initial discussions.

Under the old adage that you have to be in it to win it, coupled with the fact it would be a significant piece of business for us, I was happy to make the 2.5 hour journey to their offices to meet up.

I was there for an hour presenting to the managing director, marketing director and commercial director of said company. Among the many subjects covered were my thoughts on their product, their positioning and how I felt our experience in the industry could help deliver the 7% growth the m.d was expecting from his investment.

I left feeling pretty positive.

However, about a week later, I received a letter detailing that we would not be selected to go through to the next stage of their procurement process.

Although disappointed at the letter's content, I didn't have a problem with their decision itself. Part and parcel of agency life is the quest to grow your customer base and these type of meetings are common place. Some you win and some you lose - that's the game.

The one thing we do expect from a potential client if we are unsuccessful in these type of meetings is to be honest as to the reason for their decision. Too expensive? Not enough experience? Didn't like the look of you? Doesn't matter what their reason is, as long as its an honest one.

Unfortunately, despite two polite emails asking for feedback which would help us "improve for future, similar meetings" I have heard nothing from this operator. Not a bean.

Am I disappointed at their silence? Of course. Am I surprised? I'm afraid not.


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