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Does your business head button up the back?

frockery

frockery

New Member
Yesterday, I took a call from a man with an American accent inviting me for coffee at an upmarket golf hotel to discuss a possible lucrative wedding related income stream for my business. He was, however, sketchy about the details and confessed to knowing about me through a business colleague he had met with earlier in the day and who had happened to mention my frocking activities. Thanks a bunch. :rolleyes:

Such sketchiness and pushiness for a meeting (which had to be today!) made me immediately suspicious. A second phone call from another bloke less than an hour later set off more alarm bells, especially when he thought he could pencil me in for early evening if I couldn't make it during the day. 'Scuse me, I decide what goes in my diary, matey! And who in business has the time to drop everything at a minute's notice and drive to a meeting with a total stranger to discuss some nebulous, allegedly lucrative business proposal?

I suspected a scam and so rang the 'helpful' contact who had listened to the sales pitch over coffee yesterday and had inadertently dropped my name into the convo. As I thought, it was about selling advertising space (at inflated prices) in a glossy hotel wedding marketing brochure and she had actually been considering it (until she heard the figures). Fortunately she didn't commit to anything, even under pressure, as she had taken a savvy colleague along with her, but another recent start up business had already signed up to a contract (alarm bells sounded very loudly at this point).

The businesses they are targeting (that I know of) all seem to be small and probably sole traders, many of them recent start ups. Not only that, they aren't necessarily the types of business that would be likely to reap much, if any, benefit from such an advertising medium. I can get into Vogue for less money with far greater reach and ROI!

It begs the question, why are such small fry being cold called and invited to partner with what is a very big and prestigious hotel catering for championship golf aficionados? Call me a cynical old frocker, but my business head does not button up the back.

I have just had another phone call this morning in which I was invited to look at a written proposal and then have a follow up meeting. Obviously the 'do it now or lose out' urgency technique hadn't worked on me, and neither did this, so I declined and hung up in the middle of the caller's sentence.

I'm flagging this up as they may be doing the rounds of small businesses to fill their brochure pages and they are very pushy and polished in their approach. I would really hate anyone to be pressurised into spending big bucks without thinking it all through. I also hate to say it reminded me of the Vardis(?) scam in which people were signed up for advertising they never agreed to, although the hotel in this case is undoubtedly a perfectly bona fide establishment.
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Appreciate you posting this Alison. I can see how these type of tactics will work on certain people.

Would there be any point in contacting the hotel in question and telling them of your experience? Maybe they wouldn't appreciate it being sold in this way?

It may also be worth exploring the cooling off period if anyone did in fact sign up unwittingly.
 
S

shredder

New Member
On what basis would you be entitled to a cooling off period ?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
I actually meant to edit my post as I obviously forgot that in a B2B context it's unlikely there will be a cooling off period. Apologies.

It's still pretty shocking that people can effectively get railroaded into signing these types of agreement and then find out you have no get out clause. OK you could argue that they should have the sense to just say no but I know myself that it isn't always that easy.
 
S

shredder

New Member
It can be hard to say no sometimes and these guys can be experts at piling on the preasure. I find the "missing man" technique is good. If any purchase has to be signed off by someone else in the business who's not there at the time, or you tell the sales person it does, then you can say "well im tempted but I've got to get it approved first". Gives you a bit of time to reflect before committing.
 

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