Rescuing a turbulent, tribulent business deal sometimes takes imagination and creativity. Sometimes even those elements can not save a business deal on a downward trajectory. Thus begins the near tragedy of The New York Salvage Campaign.
Through the diverse articles we have published, our movie website has garnered attention. A percentage of this attention has been from potential advertisers.
One such advertiser contacted me and offered us the single largest advertising deal we have received to date. I can say no more. Its confidential.
For a sole proprietor this was a fantastic day and also a gratifying one. My contributors and I must be doing something right.
In their introductory email, when the company asked for my film website’s involvement in their ad campaign, they sited an article I had agonized over and had received no rewards for up to that point.
I was told they liked this post: TRON: Legacy: Scientific Concepts, Script Quality, Plot Themes Analysis. Whether they said that to flatter or not (I couldn’t tell), it was gratifying in a small way as it had taken me numerous hours to prepare and cross-reference that analysis. I could never tell who read it but no one commented on it, probably because of its length (nearly two thousand words). If it garned me the attention of this organization, than it was well worth the effort. Having a published Advertise Page probably ameliorated the situation as well.
Now having gone to business school, being an avid reader of Entrepreneur Magazine (a Entrepreneur Magazine Subscription Discount Coupon Code), and a watcher of Shark Tank, I did not take the first offer. If I had received this same offer when I had started my first website, I probably would have. Time has given me a little wisdom and a little patience.
My bargaining posture was strong and confident. I gave them a counter offer to the initial offer in their introductory email, far over what they offered, a price that was the amalgamation (of the price tag) for a particular product we offer.
They countered with a new, higher offer, saying it was their max budget for the project a few days later. I countered their counter.
Two more emails from me, the last one acquiescing to their last offer. I figured I had over reached, over played my hand. I even tried calling and leaving a message.
The silence I could endure but a.) it was the largest single offer I had ever received and b.) their campaign start date was looming.
Three days before the start of the campaign, mid-afternoon I made a decision. I have seen almost every episode of Entourage so Ari Gold and what he would do occurred to me. Since I couldn’t get them on the phone (I’d called) or by email, I would go see them in person and try to salvage what I may have thrown away.
Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), Entourage
I got into a dress shirt, pants, shoes, and got on a train. An hour and a half later I was in New York City.
This was my all or nothing, Hail Marry pass.
It was a litte after five, their office closed at six, so I decided to walk. Bad idea. I walked for twenty minutes and I was not even close. I hailed and got into a cab. Told him the address, the wrong address, the company name and their floor. Luckily I had a smart phone (written about here: How a Smart Phone improved a Website’s Mobile Presentation and Ad Revenue), went online during the drive, and read exactly what was presented for their address on the website to the cab driver. We had been going up town. The address was actually down town. New York City topography, I’d forgotten. I was dropped off in front of the correct building where the company was located around 5:58pm. I asked for directions inside and walked fast, took the elevator. I got to the office around six, and talked to the receptionist.
My contact for the contract had taken the day off.
I had never called to confirm he was there. I thought the element of surprise was best.
I left. I took the elevator back down stairs. I took a seat once I was down there and grabbed for my wallet. It was not there. My credit card was in my pocket though. I had used it to pay for the taxi and never placed it back inside my wallet. I wasn’t without funds. I looked in all my pockets and the bag I had with me. No wallet.
Not only had I not gotten the contract, I had also lost my wallet somewhere in New York City.
I went back up to the company’s office to see if my wallet had slipped out of my pocket on the company’s couch in the reception area. I get off the elevator and I saw two people. Both I did not recognize. I began to tell them that I was just there, who I had been there to see, and one of them motioned toward me something black with a white post it on it. It was the cab driver (Abdul), he recognized me immediately but I didn’t do the same. He had remembered what I had said about the company (their name), their floor, etc. He had found my wallet in the back of his cab, come back, and gone to the office to find me and return it. I thanked Abdul then asked him for a ride back to Grand Central Station.
I got there two minutes before the next train was leaving for Connecticut. I ran and got on it. I went home.
I told myself as I stood on the train (all the seats were occupied) that at least I had tried. I didn’t just stand around, hoping for a miracle. I took direct, positive action. I could be proud of that, learn from that.
The next day I received an email from my contact.
We were in.
Obviously the receptionist or the other employee that was there when I came back told my contact that I had been there the previous day or the inexplicable was at play. Maybe my contact hadn’t been looking at my emails from home and/or the organization didn’t allow that practice for security reasons. In any event, success.
Lessons to be learned from this
1. Do not over play your hand. Recognize the true value of the cards you hold and the cards the other side holds.
2. Do not get greedy. Extricate Gordon Gecko from your cerebrum.
3. Think of one business deal as your stepping stone to the next and treat it as such. Respect it.
4. Do what it takes to close the deal.
5. Use your initiative and have the courage to follow through on it.
6. Write good copy. You never know how it will pay off and who is reading it.
7. Have an advertise page so that people know you have products/services for sell. If you don’t, how will a potential advertiser know?