Dear Groupon Man,
I was surprised when you called this morning. And on my cell phone, no less. I was in the middle of a really hectic morning but I had a few minutes so I decided to take the call.
And before we go any further, I just want to say thank you for being super friendly. I could hear all the other Groupon people in the back on their phones and I have no doubt that my name was but one in a long list of names you had to call today, but still, you were upbeat and nice. And it did not go unnoticed, so thank you. Really.
You said that you were looking to feature a photographer in my area and wanted to offer me that opportunity. Yowzers! I got real excited, like I had won something, and then I remembered this was Groupon and you wanted me to advertise with you. So, I allowed you a little of your spiel because nobody likes to be cut off mid-sentence. And then when you paused, I said, in my sweetest voice:
“Thank you for calling me, but I’m afraid I wouldn’t be interested. But, again, thank you.”
(I’ll be honest-I say this ALL the time and I don’t really know why I do. I mean, why do I feel the need to thank you for bothering me with a sales call. It’s stupid, I know, because I don’t really feel thankful that you called me. I guess I say it because it sounds like a polite thing to do. I really have no answers here. It was in the morning, so I can’t blame vodka.)
And after hearing my thanks, you said:
“But, WHY wouldn’t you be interested?”
Oh snap. That was a bold Groupon sales move. Other Groupon folk would have probably taken the hint and moved on to the next name, but not you, Groupon Man. You wanted to know my WHY. Kind of like a Groupon therapist. So, I simply said the following:
“I am not a coupon based business.”
I thought that explanation would end the conversation, but no, it did not. You were like a puppy with a bone and you responded with:
“Have you had a bad experience with Groupon?”
“No,” I said. “I am familiar with Groupon but have never used it for my business.”
“So…do you not understand how Groupon works?”
At this point, dear Groupon Man, the conversation shifted. As I sat in my office staring at my coffee which was growing colder by the second and a list of emails and phone calls I had to return prior to my first session, I felt that there was only of one of two ways I was getting off the phone:
1. Just hanging up or
2. Launching into WHY I don’t use Groupon.
As #1 was too rude of an option to be considered, I went with #2.
“I don’t use Groupon because it’s not what I’m about. To be completely honest, I don’t want my name to be associated with Groupon. I mean, if I was selling frozen yogurt or manicures, then sure, but that’s not what I’m doing. I don’t want people using me because I baited them in with some ridiculously lowball offer. That devalues what I do, ergo, I won’t do it. (note: I did say, “ergo.” It’s not often you get to work that word into conversation, but I wanted to impress the Groupon Man) There is no way to qualify a client with Groupon; the only qualification is that they have $19.95 to spend on pictures. Portrait photography isn’t a commodity: it’s not an oil change or a tire rotation. It should be a personal experience: an event, a moment. I don’t belittle or devalue what I do for my clients…I won’t let Groupon do it, either.”
After this, Groupon Man, you were silent for a few beats and then quickly hung up. I’m sorry it had to come to this. ?#?sorrynotsorry? Yeah, my coffee was cold by this time, but it was well worth it. And actually, I think I have a Groupon for this coffee place up the road, so I can just pick up another one later. xoxo
About The Author
Lynn Cartia (AKA Missy Mwac) is a photographer/eater of bacon/drinker of vodka and a guide through the murky waters of professional photography. You can follow her social media links here: Facebook, Tumblr. This article was originally published here and shared with permission.