Getting serious about your business means getting serious about your brand.

Last week I had the following exchange with an executive recruitment business. While my initial response was a bit gruff, I was surprised at the response I received after they sent me an unsolicited e-mail in the first place. I believe the exchange pretty much explains itself.

For young firms offering professional services consider this a lesson getting things right before trying to build a business relationship.

Note: All names have been removed to ensure e-mailer confidentiality. (Disclosure: some words were edited for clarity, but no intent or tone was altered.)

The Exchange.

First e-mail received.

From: [undisclosed]@shaw.ca
Sent: xx September xx, 2011 x:xx AM
To: xxx
Subject: Recruitment Meeting request

Good xxx;

With limited recruitment resources, many companies face the challenge of finding senior, skilled employees for vacant positions. XXX specializes in the success of companies in need of professionals beyond the reach of standard advertising/recruitment strategies.

XXX provides the most client focused recruiting services agreement and lowest fees in the industry with a strategy unique to the industry.

I would appreciate thirty (30) minutes of your time to discuss the value associated with a proactive recruitment strategy with XXX.

Please advise a suitable day and time to meet to discuss the value of services provided and I will confirm acceptance in writing.
Kind regards,

XXXX

My response.

From: Brian Singh

Sent: September XX, 2011 X:XX

To: XXX

Subject: RE: Recruitment Meeting request

No. You guys don’t even have a branded URL. Get serious about your business.

Their response.

From: XXX [undisclosed]@shaw.ca
Sent: September XX, 2011 X:XX
To: Brian Singh
Subject: Re: Recruitment Meeting request

Brian:

Thank you for your feedback.

With someone with such an impressive background, I would have expected a more professional response.

Kind regards,

XXXX

My, and final response in this exchange.

From: Brian Singh
Sent: September XX, 2011 X:XX
To: XXX
Subject: RE: Recruitment Meeting request

Hi XXXX:

I will contend it was a completely professional response.

I gave you an important piece of free advice.

If I am reacting this way, can you imagine what some people who are receiving your e-mail are thinking?

You are trying to establish trust with people you are hoping to build a business relationship. Companies like mine look to do business with companies that practice the same attention to detail that we strive hard for. That includes including a website link so we can see who you are and if you carefully considering your own corporate brand.

If you choose to accept my points and your business improves, consider being pissed off by me as a positive step.

Regards,

Brian

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