I just had the most interesting conversation with a salesman. I asked him for a couple of references. His response was this - at the end of every event, we send a thank you letter and ask for feedback. For some reason, we don't get them from the people who we hold those events for. We only give out written references, recommendations.
When I said that his prices were higher than other people I'd spoken with and that part of the decision making process was to be able to speak with people who had used his service in the past, he replied that we probably wouldn't want to do business with them.
Odd. Did he want the business or not? If he has NO references for this type of event, how do I know they've ever handled an event like mine in the past? Can't he call some of his previous clients and ask them if they'd mind being available?
Every other salesperson I've spoken with about this topic has been delighted to provide me with at least 3 references.
I suppose when things are fat and you can pick and choose your clients, you can decide what you will and won't do to make the sale. Though I have to say that I can not imagine NOT providing references - written or otherwise.
In addition, I couldn't help wonder if those clients just weren't thrilled with the job he'd done but the money had been spent so there was no point in complaining. He'll never know cuz he never asked.
Curiouser and curiouser. I have to admit - I'm astounded!