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Gift horse, mouth

gift horseWe were recently called in by a forklift truck provider to help them overcome a shortfall in sales. I carried out a free sales & marketing audit for them that outlined how we could

  • Generate more sales enquiries, both solicited and unsolicited
  • Build brand and reputation in local, business and FLT user communities
  • Work with and support existing sales efforts

However, in the end, they decided not to employ outside help, which left us with an unused but comprehensive recommendations document for a forklift truck business.

So I approached one of their local competitors and asked if they thought the recommendations and proposals might be useful for them. After all, I reasoned, they were in the same business and in the same part of the world – surely what works for one would work for the other.

But despite me writing (twice) and following up with a phone call (twice) the MD wouldn’t even come to the phone to discuss it. So I’m assuming that either he thought this was a “come on” or he thought the offer of a free marketing plan was too good to be true or his company is simply too busy and successful to need any additional help.

Whatever the reason, I know if our roles were reversed, I’d at least have spared five minutes for a chat on the phone to see if there was anything worth knowing or any ideas worth nicking.There’s an old saying about not looking a gift horse in the mouth. Has anyone else encountered a blank refusal for a gift freely offered?






Comments (5)

Philip says:
September 16, 2015 at 7:44 am Reply

Isaac Oommen, Multidisciplinary media, communications and marketing, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada:
A couple of friends baulked when I refused a car that was given to me for free. As the potential receiver, I had a lot of questions about how free “free” was. So many questions that I couldn’t accept the car.

Philip says:
September 16, 2015 at 7:42 am Reply

Adam Brenner, Managing Director at NPS Newcastle, Design Print Web, Newcastle upon Tyne:
I wonder if the fact that so many businesses offer free gifts as a prelude to selling to you, has caused people to be wary about accepting gifts.

Philip says:
September 16, 2015 at 7:42 am Reply

Interesting point, Adam, and it opens up a whole new discussion; How many of us offer freebies as an inducement to buy… and what freebies do people offer?

Philip says:
September 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm Reply

Rachel Chorley, Strategic Marketing Communications Coordinator, Warrington, Cheshire:
They may have just taken your ideas and implemented them in house!

Philip says:
September 15, 2015 at 3:13 pm Reply

They didn’t even bother to look at the ideas, Rachel….

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