How to Recede in Business Without Really Trying
Imagine for a moment you’re a contestant on a business game show version of Jeopardy. Here’s the answer(s):
Loss of potential customers;
Loss of management morale;
Loss of media outlet support
Question: What happens if a company’s Board of Directors refuses to honor an agreement made by management?
Such was the incredulous situation while planning an itinerary for a trip a few years ago. I initiated contact with a very elegant hotel property, via e-mail. The offer I made was to promote them in my publication called The Replenisher, in exchange for accommodations. Included in the e-mail text was a link to the web page showing our publication background and subscriber demographics.
Hotel management accepted the offer in writing (e-mail); in effect, a simple contractual agreement with all the pertinent details.
One week after the fact, an e-mail came from the hotel stating that the Board of Directors decided this was not a good demographic fit (actually, it was more the publication format they objected to), and they were retracting their abidance to the agreement. Let me add, there was no mention by management of this agreement being subject to Board approval.
I wrote a letter to one of the owners, asking them to reconsider: “An offer was made in writing, it was accepted in writing. That’s a contract…someone failed to review our web page before accepting the offer…I invite the hotel to consider a change of heart in this matter, and honor the agreement already made in good faith.”
There was no response.
Clearly, the hotel fumbled an opportunity for good will and positive publicity if they had admitted their negligence, and honored the agreement anyway. Needless to say, the hotel will not be invited back as a contestant on our “show” for any bonus rounds.