Defusing A Permanent Shopper

We all have shoppers who have nothing but time, and want to ask 1,000 questions about our product offerings. Often, with folks like this, the rubber meets the road when you mention a fee. If they're true professional shoppers, they scramble for the nearest exits. In this case, two of our consultants, Mary Ann and Henning, gave our professional colleague a free and cordial office visit.

Then he wanted to see me under the auspices of "possible career or association relationships." We knew Samuel well from professional meetings, and recognized beforehand that no strategic partnership was possible. What Samuel really needed was career help. For some odd reason, he addressed me as "Bill" and the subject of his e-mail was "Possibilities." I asked an executive in our company to answer on my behalf, and Samuel remained a friend but never became a client.

From: Samuel Smetana [mailto:]
Sent: September 30, 20— 8:18 PM
Subject: Possibilities

Hi Bill,

Wanted to touch bases with you and have been missing you at Association for Corporate Growth meetings.

Hope all's well with you.

Had the pleasure of spending an hour with Mary Ann and Henning in your pleasant and interesting office. Some time in my personal schedule is being freed up in the near future.  I was wondering if we could get together and discuss possible career or association relationships. Let me know what information you might want before we meet.

Since I'm in and out quite frequently, it might be best if you sent a few possible meeting times by email and I can choose from them. 

All the best,


From: Carlisle Jones []
Sent: October 1, 20— 1:38 PM
To: Samuel Smetana
Cc: Mary Ann Giancarli; Henning Marks; Bill Frank
Subject: Your e-mail to Bill Frank

Dear Samuel,

Bill Frank forwarded your email to me. We are delighted that you want to move ahead with your career and are seeking our help. In order to get started we require a $300.00 retainer or a credit card number. Please make these arrangements with our office manager Rachel Kupferberg. She can be reached at 303-790-0505. If you have any other questions, contact me at the same number, extension 250. Thanks again for moving ahead, glad to have you as a client.

Carlisle Jones
XVP for Corporate Development

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