I spend much of my time travelling the UK talking, giving presentations and educating people in the mysteries of ‘invasive non-native species’. I probably give on average a lecture once a week to broad ranging groups such as house builders, local authorities, fishing clubs and anyone else who has an interest in ‘alien’ species.
My presentation is NOT a big ‘sales pitch’ but more of a factual journey through the problems caused and the various means of dealing with these problem plants. It doesn’t feature slides saying …’only use Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd as we are the UK Number 1’
HOWEVER, I am coming to realise that by my very lack of slick sales techniques I am massively shooting myself in the foot.
I presented to a large construction company a few years ago and gave what I thought was a well -received presentation which ended with hands being shaken and comments of ‘we look forward to working with you’…
I have done this many times before and therefore didn’t worry when no work was immediately forthcoming, or even when a few months later we still hadn’t heard anything. However 12 months down the line I thought it best to shake the tree a little and see the client again. I chased my contact and made an appointment to go in and see her again.
On arriving in her office and after pleasantries had been exchanged I asked whether any works were to be coming our way – she asked as to where we were up to with the large project that she had recommended us for….at which point I advised that we had heard nothing from the company since my presentation 12 months ago?!
She quickly made an internal call and asked her construction director to come up to her office – two minutes later we had the answer to the confusion – he had contacted a company called ‘Japanese Knotweed …… Ltd’ and NOT…. Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd. He had even asked for me by name but had been told that I was currently ‘out of the office’. The bogus company had then visited site, given a price and been awarded the works….all on the basis of my ‘wonderful presentation and depth of knowledge’….
To rub salt in the wounds ….later in the same month – we were put on ‘stop’ by a supplier for unpaid bills …which… given that we hadn’t used them before was a little surprising. On chasing this up we discovered that the unpaid bills belonged to ‘Japanese Knotweed……LTD’ and NOT ‘Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd’
I give up.