“With Friends Like You…???”         

Issue 37

By:  Ron Brounes     

May 2000


I can sum up the results of last month’s “For What It’s Worth” letter writing campaign (Stalking Eunice Brounes) in just three words: Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).  Needless to say, I will not be vacationing in the Bay Area anytime soon.  In fact, I am not allowed within a 50 mile radius of her San Francisco home.  For the past few weeks, I have struggled to find the answers for just why Eunice’s response was not more positive.  I have read and reread, analyzed and over-analyzed the newsletter I wrote for her, and still roll on the floor laughing each time.  I have reviewed the 20-odd emails, 30-odd letters, and 50-odd faxes I personally composed and sent to her and found them all to be quite flattering and entertaining.  I have replayed in my head the 100-odd telephone messages that I left on her answer machine and other than the last few (where I cussed her out for not returning my calls), they were all very charming. 


I keep racking my brain for the answers.  Any answers.  Why have I been rejected by my Eunice?  Should I have done something differently?  Should I have simply paid more attention to her?  Should I have sent just one more email, letter, or fax?  Or was it possible that these correspondences were a tad overwhelming?  Could I have actually scared her?  Finally I convinced myself that nothing could possibly be my fault in this tragic scenario.  (That attitude is quite consistent with society today where no one ever takes any responsibility for their own actions.)  After a careful review of the “Dear Eunice” responses I received from my “loyal” readers, I am now convinced that you guys are directly responsible for my failed attempts to sweep her off her feet.  I put my trust in you and, needless to say, besides a few “sappy” responses (thanks mom), you let me down in a big way. As the old saying goes, “With friends like you, who needs enemies?”  After a quick glance at some of the “Best of Dear Eunice’s,” I feel certain you will agree. 




There were the unfortunate, unflattering name calling responses:

·         “Well, come to think of it, maybe he is a nerd.”

·         “We went to the same high school.  I always thought he was a dork.”

·         “I use to feel he was like an album (remember those) being run at the slower speed.”

(I don’t even know what that means???)


There were those responses that insinuated I was a hopeless loser with a pitiful existence: 

·         “Please go out with Ron; he is positively desperate. (you said to say something positive.)”

·         “I have just completed reading Ronny's (sic) newsletter and desperate plea for help.”

·         “All things considered, give yourself, Ron, and ALL OF US a break and take a chance.”

(A break from what???)


There were those responses by folks I hardly know that served no real purpose at all:

·         “Since I have not had the chance of really sitting down and getting to know you I don't think I can offer Eunice anything worthy.”

·         “What does this have to do with Ron Brounes?  Nothing of course.  I hardly know the guy.”

(Well thanks for the help, whoever you are???)


And those written by folks I really don’t care much for:

·         “I did not like Ron the first time I met him either.”

(Feeling’s mutual.)


And finally, those responses from clients who questioned my business savvy:

·         “He is quite the entrepreneur. With the cost of materials and postage, he is losing money on each newsletter that is mailed out but he is certainly making it up in volume.”

(I’ll be saving 33 cents this month after removing him from my mailing list.)




In every personal and business experience (especially the unsuccessful ones), we should always attempt to find some positive lessons that were learned to help us from making the same mistakes in the future. (For me, I’m learning countless lessons daily.)  First of all, every good salesperson finds out early in his/her career that a fine line exists between being persistent and being a royal pain-in-the-you-know-what.  While there is typically no harm in trying to overcome the first  objection or two, once that line is crossed, further attempts are annoying and rarely fruitful.  Unfortunately, this is not a lesson easily learned.  Many a potentially hot prospect has been turned off by the pushy salesperson.  Yet, many a business deal has been left on the table because he/she was not persistent enough.  In time, this is a skill that can be mastered.  (I hope.) 


Another lesson to be learned is when to “punt” on an unsuccessful strategy.  Often we are so in love with our own ideas that we find it difficult to accept that they are not working.  We have invested significant time, energy, dollars, creativity into a concept and we stubbornly stick with it well beyond its usefulness.  We are concerned with recouping “sunk” costs and instead continue to sink more and more into the failed strategy.  It is important to realize when to shift gears and make adjustments.  As Michael Jordan said on a recent TV commercial, “I have failed over and over and over again.  And because I have failed, I am successful.”  (or something like that.) 


My major mistake was sending every response I received under the misperception that “quantity is better than quality.”  Instead I should have sent only the very best (from my new very best friend and future business associate). 


“I've known Rony (sic) since I was one. Just to tell you I'm 8˝. He is funnie (sic) and you should make him your boyfriend. He ate breakfast with us once, he does not play with his food.”


After my last ditch “sweeping” attempt of sending this final emailed response, Eunice did indeed answer (finally).  “I surrender--I'm taking the advice of the 8 year old.”  Does this supercede the TRO?  Sounds like it may be time for me to send a few more emails, letters, and faxes??? 


Please remember Brounes & Associates for:


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FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH is a publication of Brounes & Associates focusing on business marketing and general communications strategies. Please call Ron Brounes at 713-432-1910 for additional information. In all seriousness, I want to thank everyone who took the time to email me their “Dear Eunice” letters. I now keep a box of tissues by the computer to wipe away the tears from the many flattering (and some rude) comments. They were all forwarded accordingly; the jury is still out.  (By the way, I do occasionally play with my food.)