I had an interesting experience this week that I wanted to share with all of you. It’s a great lesson in Business 101 as well as a good example of how to screw-up your chances of making a sale to an end user. It all comes down to the fact that at the end of the day, businesses don’t do business with businesses, people do business with people.
So here’s what happened. As many of you know, I work with startups and Fortune 500 companies to help them acquire domain names for their business. I do not broker domains for investors but instead help real businesses get the domains they are looking for. This year alone I’ve done close to $850,000 in deals, I can’t talk about any of them, but if there’s any way I can in the future you can bet I will!
One of my clients contacted me inquiring about a few domain names they were interested. None were category-killer by any means, in fact most were mediocre three-word .COM, but the client really wanted one of them and had a six-figure budget for the name. So I emailed all the domain owners asking what price they might be looking for.
Of the people I emailed (six in total) three came back with a price range, two said they didn’t want to throw-out a number but would consider an offer, and one guy was just a complete jerk. It was the guy who was a jerk that I didn’t quite get, he wasn’t sitting on a six-figure domain, it was a name worth maybe $10K-$20K (and only to the right buyer) but if he got six-figures I can tell you he’d be jumping with joy. So what did he do?
Rather than throw-out a range or ask me for an offer he responded by saying, “If you really wanted the domain you would have made an offer.” Poof, no deal. We emailed six people and sure, not all of them gave a range, those that asked for offers, we submitted offers to, but this guy lost the deal by being a jerk. While I myself also push potential Buyers to make an offer, I simply ask for an offer. This rude response let me know right-away that this was not someone I would ever want to do business with, and since my client had plenty of other options, we bought a different domain.
If you want to lose a potential end-user sale, be a jerk right away and watch people avoid you like the plague. Not only did we not respond to this email, but I’ve marked down the owner so I know in the future to stay-away from this guy. If he would have simply said, “I only accept offers and will not throw-out a price.” We would have made an offer, but by being rude and showing he was someone that would be a complete hassle to do business with, we looked the other way.
Now just to be clear here. I’m not talking about a category-killer one or two-word .COM, and I’m not talking about any big Domainers that we all know. I’m talking about a guy with a mediocre name and a missed opportunity. Like I said in the beginning, businesses don’t do business with businesses, people do business with people. Responding rudely to an inquiry is a great way to lose a potential sale, and you never know who is making the offer or what their budget is so you might just miss that one big chance.