You may have noticed that my name has an unusual spelling. I know this and give people the benefit of the doubt when they spell it wrong. Well, last week I posted on my personal Facebook profile that one of my pet peeves is when someone is trying to sell me something and they spell my name wrong. Obviously this comment came because a salesperson emailed me about getting coffee to chat and learn more about what each other does and spelled my name wrong. This is the typical line salespeople use when they want to sell you something they have but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and scheduled a meeting because you never know what will come out of it (I'm an optimistic person). This story just gets better now!
We set a day and time and it is right in the middle of 4 other meetings I have that day as well as a report to get to a client but that really isn't his problem. Of course I'm 10 minutes late, which I hate doing but happens quite regularly I'm afraid. I walk in and we shake hands and he calls me the wrong name. I say, "I'm Ronii" and he apologizes and blames a hectic week. Ok, me too. It seems to be that way for everyone right now. Then he says, "So, your an Image Consultant? Tell me more about that." I then inform him that I'm not an Image Consultant but my friend Shauna is and we share an office, which is why he is confused and I'm in branding and marketing. I really should have just left at that point but that would be rude. It gets better. He then says, "oh, yeah, I'm sorry. Your in advertising. Tell me about that." (Side note: I view marketing and advertising as different disciplines in the same umbrella. Marketing and branding are strategy and planning driven, while I view advertising as creative campaigning based on strategy and then execution.) I reply, "no, I'm in branding and marketing." We talk for a second about what he does and AGAIN he says, "so your in advertising."
This meeting only lasted about 20 minutes and he tried hard to sell me insurance but I wasn't having it after her called me the wrong name and thought I was in a completely different industry, He finally figured it out. I wonder if he went back to his office thinking I'm a cold bitch because I didn't say much and wasn't open to his sales pitch? Or did he go back to his office and go, "I totally screwed that all up!" He simple just didn't pay attention because he probably, like me, has a million things going on. But you are in sales - your job is to pay attention. This week I'm going to my sales team and emphasizing that it isn't about how many people you talk to in a day but that you start a relationship with the few that you connect with and pay attention.
By the time it was all said and done I just found it funny that this meeting was so disastrous. Has this ever happened to you? What are some of your bad used car salesman stories? Have you been on the receiving or delivering end of this kind of flub?