Jun 25, 2007

Desperation and urgency

Disclaimer: I am associated with a coffee franchise.

Couldn't believe it when a colleague forwarded me an email that a competing coffee company is circulating amongst it's prospective franchisees.

There are many ways to create urgency in the sales process. The example below is not one of them. In an era of increasing transparency and being genuine in how you work with prospective clients or customers, it's frightening to see that some people still resort to essentially shouting to get their point across. Unfortunately for them (and maybe fortunately for us?), it just sounds desperate:

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 08:50:05 -0400
From: Maui Wowi Hawaiian
Reply-To: Maui Wowi Hawaiian
Subject: A Maui Wowi Call to Action!!

A MAUI WOWI CALL TO ACTION!!
Let me warn you that this is a strong e-mail! Delete it if you can't handle the truth.

I know you are thinking about changing your life. You told us so when you asked for more information from Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies. So why haven't you responded to our calls and e-mails?
FEAR? Fear that we are going to sell you something? Fear that you are going to look foolish or make a mistake? Trust me, we grant franchises which allow the use of our brand and business operations only to those who match the profile of our most successful franchisees.

As someone who has started his own business, I _KNOW_ the fear and anxiety of starting one's own business. The perceived risk is sometimes overwhelming. I will also tell you that my decision to own my own business changed the life of my family. No longer do we have to worry about every dollar we spend, no longer do I worry about retirement and no longer do I live in fear of not being able to provide for my loved ones! I control my own destiny!

Are you going to be sitting on your DEATH BED saying, "I wish"?
Hello! Newsflash! YOU ARE NOT GOING TO WIN THE LOTTERY!!!!!

What are you going to retire on? What are you going to leave your kids? What mark are you going to make on the world! You are not satisfied now or you would not be looking for something new!

Another reason is ANXIETY. Often times one comes up with a multitude of reasons not to investigate further: 'I am looking for a business for next year', 'The kids are too small, maybe later', 'I am just too busy right now', 'I am up for a big promotion and hopefully (key word) a raise' 'Let me ask my friends first and see what they think!' - and a million other reasons to not take action to pursue owning their own business.

Look, you have been getting e-mails and calls from us for a week which you have ignored after you sent us a request for information.

GET OFF YOUR BUTT, FILL OUT THE CONFIDENTIAL QUESTIONNAIRE AND TAKE A LOOK! NOT LATER, NOT TOMORROW, NOT NEXT WEEK... STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND PROCRASTINATING... DO IT RIGHT NOW! IT IS GOING TO TAKE YOU 5 MINUTES! IT IS FREE AND YOU MAY JUST LIKE THE FREEDOM, CONTROL AND POWER THAT OWNING A MAUI WOWI HAWAIIAN COFFEES & SMOOTHIES FRANCHISE OFFERS!

This is the last e-mail you are going to receive from us. It's up to you to change your life for the better. IF NOT NOW, WHEN?

It's time,
Michael Haith, CEO
Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffees & Smoothies

Jun 18, 2007

Nearing Western Africa

Reid and Soanya continue their interesting voyage.

Two Faced, revisited

And I was just beginning to think that Nick Barnett could be a good member of this community. This kind of behavior after signing a big contract extension is almost cliche. Look for the NFL's new conduct policy to take a look at this too. With the John Jones incident a few weeks behind us, I thought we'd be able to make it to training camp without hitting the national news again. Wasn't meant to be, I guess.

PS - The Fontenot has a good take on the situation tho...

Jun 12, 2007

Two-faced!

We have an employee that's pregnant. She's normally very good with customers and has been with us for a while.

The other day, I visited the store with a gentleman interested in buying into our concept/franchise. It was a bad day for the employee -- you could tell. And anytime something is just not right with you -- mentally and/or physically -- everyone, including your customers, pick up on it in a heartbeat.

I know it's hard, and I sympathize with not feeling your best, but you've been hired to perform a function at a certain level in exchange for being compensated (with benefits and money alike), so you best bring your A-game. Or at least be able to fake your A-game. If not, then you need to stay home, because I do not want you working with customers today.

Payola

I think someone in the LA County Jail system is out for a little grease after handling the Hilton slammer fiasco.

This kind of stuff makes every PR person wince...

And you thought we had a class-less society...!

Jun 11, 2007

Soprano lame duck

The only winners in this whole thing were the members of the 80s rock band Journey. At least they'll be remembered for the theme song to the absolute worst series finale I can remember. And Seinfeld is a close second.

It's just really painful when you've got loyal followers since 1999 and you let them down with the piece of shit that was the last episode to a series that probably should have ended around episode number 50.

I've heard it all -- it was a "cut to black" because you supposed to be Tony Soprano in that instant, they're holding the rest of the ending to make the movie version, and my personal favorite: David Chase wanted to leave the final Soprano family moments up to the imagination of the viewers who put up with the erratic scheduling and poor storylines for the last several seasons.

If we wanted it to be left up to our "imaginations", why have a TV show at all and just let me imagine some psycho mobsters and their goombahs to begin with...

...please. Spare me the Hollywood artsy-fartsy shit and admit you simply ran out of gas. It's the show that, unlike Seinfeld (although they had a lame-ass finale as well), went on past it's prime and couldn;t figure out how to whack itself, so you simply decided to leave it up the "viewers". That's rich. And how the show will be remembered. Cheers, M*A*S*H: Classic shows with classic endings. Even the more recent HBO series, Six Feet Under had one of the more memorable and creative finale episodes.

Unfortunately, Chase squandered any hope of Sopranos entering into the group of shows worthy as mentioning in the phrase, the best ever.

It simply, wasn't.

Jun 7, 2007

Good green (in theory)

Ethanol is looking like one of those green initiatives to get us off fossil fuels that looks good in theory, but not really that good in practice.

Thing is, it apparently it's having OPPOSITE effect. Currently, it actually takes more energy to make than it creates -- takes more gas to make a gallon of ethanol than if we weren't. This may not always be the case as technologies improve, however.

Another one of life's little ironies...

Where they stop, nobody knows!

We have several roundabouts in my Midwestern community. You know, the simple traffic control import from Europe that's made it's way from Boston to here. They're great -- keeps traffic moving -- when people know how to use them.

See, around here, people don't. Even if there is nothing to yield to on left, people come to a complete stop and wait for another waiting car on the left. It's completely absurd -- which makes me think, "Wait a minute... this is a training issue".

How come city planners put these things in and then just assume people know what to do with them?

Jun 6, 2007

Jun 5, 2007

Howdy Doody



Will somebody please tell GW that we actually need some friends around the world...?!

Warm sensations

Some fans have some pretty interesting tactics when they haven't won for a while...

Jun 4, 2007

Locked out... by robots.

"This blog has been locked by Blogger's spam-prevention robots. You will not be able to publish your posts, but you will be able to save them as drafts."

Blogger locked me out of my blog. I have to write this post as a draft until they "unlock" my account. I know it's a free service, and I realize it's spam prevention, which we all HATE, but you mean to tell me that they can't get enough mathematicians in Googleplex Building # 43 to come up with an algorithm that can tell the difference between my own, fairly-frequent posts and that of a spammer? Further, I requested a review by a live person yesterday and they have yet to review/unlock my blog.

And I'm a Google shareholder! How dare they!

Perhaps it is time to consider a paid blogging service like Typepad.

Jun 1, 2007

Too much static...

Mark Cuban says he believes that another NFL-type football league could flourish. I respectfully disagree and think any effort as such would fall the way the XFL and USFL did.

I don't see this working for two primary reasons:

1) I'm not sold on the argument for unmet demand in the pro football entertainment space. You've already got a pretty good arena football league going. And I see plenty of unsold seats on nationally-televised NFL games throughout the regular season. I think the competition among entertainment vehicles today is so strong and so fractured, that any effort toward another powerhouse league has odds stacked way against it. And I don't think you could get another league going and be any less price-point sensitive than the NFL is today. It would have to be a huge saving to attend another league's games. Bottom line: too much competition for the entertainment dollar.

2) The NFL is a well-oiled machine. It is managed and disciplined far better than any other major league sport. It also has such history, well-established rules and experience, and lore. I don't see any other league coming up against it anytime soon that hs the clout that even approaches the level of the NFL.