It is amazing to me how Irish companies will do everything in their power to resist paying for expertise.
I was contacted recently by one of the country’s mobile operators. Would I help them see “how we can go about using online communities, blogs etc to [company name’s] advantage”?
No problem, delighted to, said I!
The meeting was arranged, the aganda for the meeting was set and I was asked to address:
1) Overview of what is happening in this space
2) Example of companies that have employed some of these different tools and how they are getting value
3) How do you think [company name] could leverage these tools in order to gather insight and create a positive customer experience out of it?
I asked what their procurement policies were, did I need to send in a PO, or what was the story?
What, money? You want money? You must be dreaming. We don’t pay people for their work, they should feel priviliged just to be talking to us, seems to be the attitude.
They seriously expected me to spend several hours preparing for this meeting, travel to meet them in Dublin (3 hours each way) give away all my knowledge of this area, and all at my own expense?
When I said I’d have to charge, they cancelled.
It is not like I was going to cause a massive dent in their profits. I was only asking for a couple of hundred Euro plus train fare – half of which I would re-imburse if more business came out of it.
No, no, no –
our normal vendor policy is that all agencies would have an initial meeting with us to discuss ideas and possible ways to work together in the future
Yeah, that’s well and good except the outline of the first meeting was more like a let’s see how much information we can suck out of Tom’s head. Then we’ll go away and do it ourselves. Ha ha, won’t he feel silly then?
I even offered to do the initial meeting by conference call free in a last ditch effort to be reasonable. I haven’t heard a word since. Infuriating.
EDITED TO ADD:
I should have mentioned in the post that the carrot that was offered to me by the mobile co. was that there was the possibility of a one day workshop with them if things went well! So I was expected to spend a day and a half between prep, travel and delivery for the possibility of a day’s work.