Archive for June 5th, 2006

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

– Peter Drucker

Amen. If you have to sit there and work to sell it, there’s a marketing department somewhere that’s at fault.

Read Tom Asacker’s letter to Tom Peters
to find out where today’s little water-cooler debate about Sales vs. Marketing went oh-so-wrong. (Good stuff.)


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When job applicants send off their resumes to most large companies in the US, they usually get some kind of standard reply letter that lets them know that their resume has been received. Usually, the letter is short, devoid of any human emotion, and relatively vague as to whether or not the applicant will ever be contacted again.

This, however, is one of the best reply letters I have come across yet. If this letter is any indication of the kind of relationship this company has with its employees (and by association, its customers), this is probably the kind of company you would want to do business with. (Truth be told, you probably are.) Here it is:

Dear (name of applicant),

Thank you for your inquiry concerning employment opportunities at (name of company). We are honored that you have considered our Company as a prospective

Your skills and qualifications will be reviewed. If a strong match is found
between your qualifications and the requirements, someone from The Company will
contact you. In the event that you are not contacted within a 2-4 week period,
it is likely that we are pursuing other candidates.

Identifying and hiring the best talent is a key objective of our Company. Your
resume will be maintained in our resume database should your skills and
qualifications present a strong match to future positions.

Again, thank you for your interest in (name of the company). We are pleased to
have received your information and wish you success in obtaining the job you


(name of the company)

See? Doesn’t it make you feel warm and fuzzy? It should. Why is this important? Two reasons:

1) The friendlier and most engaging companies will most likely land the better employees.

2) To get a glimpse of a company’s mindset and culture, replace any reference to job applicants / prospective employees with “customers”, and “positions” with “products”.

(See where I’m going with this?)

This company makes a point to remember people’s names. It tells them that it is honored to have their interest and business. It tells them that it wishes them the best. It tells them exactly how long it will take for them to take care of their needs. It makes them feel good and at home.

Most companies do few of these things, when any at all.


One of the easiest ways to evaluate a company before doing business with it is to test its HR department. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: You can always tell the way a company wil treat its customers by the way it treats its employees. There’s no way around it. Company cultures permeate every department. Companies either treat people well or they don’t. They either care about people, or they don’t. Employees, vendors, customers… the specific roles people play are irrelevant.

It’s just science.

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