Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have done this. The last time was 4 or 5 years ago. I replied from my phone to a friend. And, I only realized afterward that when I meant to forward I actually had replied.
Well, in 2007 I did it again. A business partner and I made a presentation to an old/new customer on Friday. (Old because I dealt with him in a previous job, but new experience with him in this job) During our presentation both he and I made humorous references to our previous time working together. (I warehoused numerous items for him in a “reverse-logistics” projects. The project turned into a boondoggle that I barely broke even on.) My business partner made some good suggestions regarding other areas of their project, and when we left, we both thought it went okay. They let us know that they would be reviewing another proposal from another possible supplier that afternoon.
Their was a couple emails exchanged this week prior to my grievous error. I believed I was forwarding an email to my business partner when it was a reply to this customer. After I saw who it was sent to, I breathed a DARN. Then, it was time to craft a follow email that made my comments as palatable as possible. Besides my followup email, my business partner did send a very effective response to our customer inquiry. We certainly showed we are capable of providing email support after work hours.
The next day, I received two emails from my customer. The first was very curt and addressed the biggest sin of my missent email. The second email seemed to have accepted a portion of the explanation I attempted to provide there. He gave us some budget numbers, and although he may have been a little miffed, he realized the service we are offering to provide is something not readily available.
Where will this ultimately go? Well, we believe the customer has called our supplier (the name was accidentally dropped by my business partner) and might be trying to go around us or gather numbers to make us lower our price. We can only go so low, and if we get the web hosting of the “reverse-logistics-store”, I will consider it a success. This customer is known for leaning on you hard and not caring if you make or lose money-they think you should be grateful for the pleasure of dealing with them. So, we will see if we are….