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How to think about persistence

Posted by Ilise Benun on

People often ask me where the line is between persistence, which I insist is essential to do successful marketing, and pestiness, which can have the opposite effect.

I’ll use myself as an example to illustrate the way I think about this.

In June, just before a talk I gave for a group of food stylists and food photographers, I met John X who was one of the organizers of the conference and the executive director of a trade group. He told me he was looking forward to hearing my talk because he thought it would be something of interest to the members of his group too. Even before my talk, he told me to call him the following week to discuss it.

So the next week, I gave him a few days, then I did what he told me to. I followed up with an email message and he told me when to call him. Even gave me his direct line.

Later that week, we spent a good half hour on the phone. He told me all about the various programs they run for the members and how my topic might fit into that. We talked about timeframe (Fall 2007) and budget, and although my initial fee was higher than they are used to paying, I offered a "volume discount" of sorts if we did a series of talks for a few different chapters in one region as a test. He liked that idea and I agreed to put it in writing so he could take it to his board.

I did that the following week. I sent it. I followed up. He said he got it and was routing it around. That was June 20.

I followed up right before the July 4th weekend with this message:

/Hi John, I know the holiday week is upon us, but I just wanted to check in about this before things get too quiet. Let me know the status when you have a moment./

On July 12th, I sent this:

/I know you’re out of the office a lot this week and next but if there’s any forward motion on the proposal, let me know, especially if we want to get started in the Fall (which I can do). /

That’s when he let me know they had budget meetings at the end of July and he wouldn’t know anything until then. So, of course, I said I’d follow up after that.

On August 2nd, I sent this:

/Just checking in to see how the board meeting went and whether you’re ready to move forward on the self promotion presentations. I do hope so…/

No word for the month of August, which didn’t surprise me because it was August, after all. I laid low.

After Labor Day, I called and left a message and he returned the call the next day. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in my office.

I’ve called back a couple times and left messages letting him know that the Fall timeframe doesn’t seem possible anymore but I’m still interested for the future.

Still no word.

If you were the Marketing Mentor, what would you tell me to do?

The post How to think about persistence appeared first on The Marketing Mix.


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