I woke up and felt like my planned email for today wasn’t right.
I felt like I needed to comment on issues of race and equality and that if I didn’t, if I only wrote about marketing and sales in this abstract bubble, that I would be letting people down.
Filtering ones email list is also something I feel is important. As in, only attract people who are good fits as clients.
So I wrote and sent this:
Subject: ~~The Digital Concierge~~ The question of Switzerland
Do you cover current events as part of your brand?
I’m not asking if you do journalism or anything.
But in your messaging and communication, do you talk about the world around you?
I’m guessing the answer is yes to some extent.
A few months ago it seems like everyone sent that “obligatory covid-19 email’.
You talk about economic ups and downs. Changes in your industry.
What about controversial topics?
A lot of people don’t want their brand anywhere near political debates.
Even that pandemic email you sent might seem edgy in some circles now.
To me, the decision is partly about whether everyone is my customer or not.
This is deeper than the set of customers served by your product or service.
This is going towards whom do you want to work with.
You don’t have to serve everyone and you don’t have to work with everyone.
Having a robust system of customer filters is important here.
For example, Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A take controversial stances on some issues they apparently believe quite strongly in. I’m sure they understand that pushes away a certain number of customers.
I’m not saying you have to take a stand on everything.
I simply think it’s interesting where some choose to remain neutral.
For me, events over the last 3 plus years have exposed both how far we have come as a nation and how far we have yet to come. They have starkly highlighted the debate over the nature of America. And whether or not that idea of America should be shared by all or a monochromatic few.
Ultimately if we end up disagreeing on the nature of business or justice or objective reality, that is fine. Fine from a business standpoint, at least.
There are more than enough people who want to be my clients. Yours as well.
It’s about what you can do to help them sort themselves out.
What are you doing to filter out the clients you don’t want to work with?
The Digital Concierge
In response, I got one person who wrote who said they really liked it and admired me for writing it.
And another who wrote this:
Michael, I’m not interested in your politics, especially since you seem to see our country’s issues being all about race. I guess I’m one of those that fall into the category of those you don’t want to work with. And vice versa.
<Name withheld to protect whomever>
So filtering works. I know the reader in question and I’m content with this outcome. They were not going to ever be a customer of mine for many reasons. For one thing, they don’t have any budget to spend on marketing. And I know they read to the bottom and that was an important indicator.
Further, the reader in question’s politics have been abhorrent to me.
My sales call today didn’t lead to a sale. I realize I didn’t collect enough information in earlier calls to really understand her business enough to know she doesn’t have any money… Those are important questions. We’ll stay in touch and she would like to work with me if she can afford me.