Tonight my readers, I’m going to share with you the story of “Mr. Send-Out-Cards,” because this guy really did seem to have potential (I liked him). I met him at a “Meet-Up” happy hour event. He was a lot of fun, easy to talk to, personable, educated and attractive. He was from Chicago and had a degree in mechanical engineering. We hit it off – and talked all night. I found out that he left his job with an engineering firm to run his own business. He called himself an entrepreneur. He attended motivational workshops and seminars and was big on learning how to invest his money. We met up again about a week later for happy hour (my friends) and cosmic bowling (his friends) – again good times were had. Things looked promising. We progressed to an official date involving dinner and a movie.
Send-Out-Cards is an online service that businesses join to send out cards to clients – reminders, birthdays, announcements, etc. Cool concept for real estate agents, doctors, hair stylists, etc. – basically anyone with clients and customers. I didn’t have a problem with it - actually had been introduced to the product at a trade show a few years back, so I was familiar with it. But, it did seem like a big jump from the world of engineering. But I believe in finding your passion and being happy. And he seemed happy.
Let me mention that I started receiving cards after our first “date.” He took the time to send me personalized cards and even added digital photos from our various events/dates. Let me say that one of my biggest pet peeves is poor grammar and spelling. One of the things I hate the most are when people use “it’s” and “its” and “your” and “you’re” incorrectly. The cards were atrocious, gaudy and had tons of spelling errors - I got probably 4 or 5 of them. Again, this wasn’t the deal breaker. This was his business, he was showing me samples of his business and was being considerate. How often do you get a card after every date?
However, after one particular date, he asked if he could call me the next day to walk me through the “Send-Out-Card” website. I thought it was a bit strange but he said he really wanted me to see the site and understand his business. So we set up a conference call. The next day Mr. Send-Out-Cards calls me and walks me through the site and his product.
Me - “cool product. It's a great concept. Thanks for showing it to me.”
Him - “Is this a product you could see yourself using?”Hmmmm…did this just turn into a sales call?
Me - “Are you trying to sell me your product?”And he just keeps going.
Him - “Is this something you could use in your job?”
Me - "Like I explained to you before, I work in government, and don’t have a need to send out lots of cards each month. I don’t have clients or customers that need reminders or birthday cards."
Him - “Do you know of other businesses that could use this product? Because for a small sign-up fee, you can become an advisor and can recruit/sell the product to other businesses.”What? Was this guy serious?
After explaining to him, again, that it would be unethical and unprofessional in my professional capacity to solicit the businesses I work with, through the city's marketing department, he finally quit pushing. He seemed genuinely surprised.
Me – “Did you really call me to sell me your product? I thought you just wanted to show me what you did.”The answer was yes. It was then I discovered that my new friend attended “meet-up” events and other social events, motivational seminars, lectures - what have you - to solicit business. I don’t know if he was ever interested in me personally or just thought that I’d be a good connection. But after that last phone call – I just felt icky and it was a huge blow to my ego... I still get emails from him inviting me to “lead generating” meetings and they read “Your Invited” in the subject line. Drives me crazy every time.