Thursday, April 15, 2010

My first real hatemail.....YES !!!!

I’ve heard it said that you’re not a real writer until you receive your first hate mail. I guess I am now officially a real writer.

I wrote an article a few weeks ago about a bad customer service experience that I had in a Hallmark store with my four-year-old son who was denied use of the restroom.  I relayed the incident as it happened, added the appropriate amount of drama and suspense, threw in a touch of pathos, and then ended with a moral. Are those not the mechanics of first rate article?... apparently not. I received an email from a guy whom I will call Richard. Richard was thoroughly offended that I had the audacity to name the store where the confrontation occurred. Furthermore, he wrote “people like you make me sick. What makes people with kids think the world is their restroom?” He went on to tell me that I only wrote that article because I was “scraping the bottom of the barrel for material for the ezine” . He continued to say that he had over 200 books on sales and he would never own one of mine.”  Wow…who knew an article on customer service could inspire so much ire. Now that his letter has marinated for a couple of weeks, I feel that I am doing Richard and my tens of loyal readers all over the country a huge disservice if I don’t respond.  Here goes….Richard, I take issue with you on three levels. First and foremost, I am insulted that you would criticize me with cliché. I have been criticized by the best. They used metaphor, originality, alliteration, and multi-syllable words that cut deep into my self-esteem and ego. I expect nothing less from you sir. Secondly, I am most insulted that you think I am short on material. As long as there are people like you in the world, my cup of material runneth over. Finally Richard, after reading that you have over 200 books on sales, I shared your letter with many of my friends and colleagues who are also in sales and we initially had the same reaction, WOW… 200 books….you must really suck !!! I then decided that I was being unfair. No one should be criticized for growing their resource library. My criticism lay with the fact that you just don’t get it. Effective selling is predicated on a simple premise. We read about it in Jeffrey Gitomer’s books and it is surely written in the pages of the 200 books adorning your shelves. “People want to do business with people they like and trust”. Does a business owner have the right to enforce policy? Of course. Are policies important? Yes. Good policy guides actions as well as reduces liability (as I was politely educated by another reader responding to the article). Sometimes a choice must be made. Do I enforce policy, or make a sale? There is not a right or wrong answer here, only cause and effect. Richard, sales are not made on our terms, they are made on the customers. Remember what Jeffrey Gitomer says “people don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy”. When you try to force someone to act according to your terms you are either in the Army, or at home alone reading sales books.

Patrick Henry is a songwriter, author, and speaker who teaches clients how to create distinction in the marketplace and blow away the competition with the four keys to becoming a “ROCKSTAR IN A ROOM FULL OF KARAOKE SINGERS”. Patrick’s entertaining programs show audiences what happens when Keynotes, Comedy, and Concerts Collide. To book Patrick Henry for your next event, visit

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Patrick Henry is a professional speaker, humorist, author, and songwriter who delivers funny and entertaining keynote speeches. Patrick shows audiences how to create IMPACT! by creating extraordinary customer, client and co-worker experiences. He is what happens when Keynotes, Comedy and Concerts...Collide!