Thursday, October 11, 2007

How not to sell market research

I couldn't believe this one when I saw it. My superior at Comcast is responsible for millions of dollars of market research budget allocation. He's someone I've known and respected in business for about 15 years now.

Recently, a marketing research vendor with whom we're not currently working got about 10 minutes of our time on the telephone. My boss informed them that any business that seeks to win a new spot on our Approved Vendors list had to complete a request for information, after which they may be invited to sign a non-disclosure agreement and a general services contract. Apparently that was too much to ask for this particular researcher, who replied by e-mail with:

Thanks for the time, but truthfully, you're not interested and you'll be a waste of my time. I'm sure Comcast will continue to be successful simply based on the cable component. It won't be based on your consumer research and product offerings that you'll bring to the table.

Wow. Thanks for your pro bono analysis of our company's market position, delivered with such grace and politeness. Glad we won't be working together! I'm going to spare from public identification this individual and his firm. If you're dying to know who it was, you can contact me privately by e-mail.

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