You fly into a strange city. Your flight is delayed. It’s raining. You manage to find a cab that takes you to the hotel in a car that’s sorely in need of new shock absorbers. The hotel restaurant is closed and there’s nothing open nearby. It’s midnight, so that’s no surprise. You’re irritated and tired. What a great way to start your trip to visit a prospective ad agency whose work you really like. Strike one.
In the morning, you find that the “continental breakfast” is hard boiled eggs, over-ripe bananas, mealy apples, and tepid coffee. Cabs are nowhere to be found, but the front desk person manages to call one…it’s 20 minutes late. Strike two.
You arrive at the agency, only to find that no one’s at the front desk. The meeting is scheduled for 8:30 am. In fact, there aren’t many people around at all. Is this the right day, you ask yourself? You walk around the office and find someone back in a corner, ear buds in place. They have no idea you’re there until you touch them on the shoulder and scare them half to death. They have no idea what to do with you. Strike three.
Contrast that hands-off approach to this one, using the same storyline:
- The agency has arranged for a car service to take you, comfortably, to your hotel.
- Knowing the potential for a late arrival, they’ve provided you with a basket of food. There’s a hand-written note inside welcoming you and saying how much everyone is looking forward to meeting you in the morning.
- One of the agency principals picks you up for breakfast at 7:15 am. She’s taking you to the best breakfast spot in town.
- The front desk person is at his desk when you arrive, and has been on the lookout for you ever since he got a text saying that you were 5 minutes away.
- Lots of employees are around when you arrive; there’s a buzz of activity.
- Before the meeting, as the principal told you would happen over breakfast, you’re taken on a brief agency tour with a really fun, effervescent employee who makes you feel completely welcome. In fact, you start thinking to yourself, “This is a fun place to work – I’d like to work with these people.” She makes a point to introduce you to the creative team, since that’s the reason you’re there in the first place.
Home run? Maybe not, but at least you’re still in the game.
Followed up with a thank you note…priceless.