A Bitter Man
I make it a rule never to talk about my job here for fear that anything I say might cause me to get dooced, but I had such a shocking conversation with a prospect this morning, that I’m almost at a loss for words.
Situation is that I’ve been chasing the managing director of this private equity firm that we wanted to make an introduction to for months. Finally get him on the phone today and he’s being extremely difficult. Nothing unusual there. He fires one question after another to which I promptly respond — all the while keeping my cool. I’m a profesional. He then says that he won’t take a meeting without looking at information first. I then respond by saying that I’d already sent information and that it must have gotten overlooked as he was in China the last few weeks. He then retorted, probably not. Maybe we just weren’t that interested.
Now, I’ve had these sorts of difficult conversations with prospects more times than I care to count, so I’m not rattled. I just continue with the mission at hand, getting the meeting. But Mr Prospect isn’t having it. Out of the blue he says, “you know, I don’t like Americans and frankly won’t work with Americans.” I was so shocked to hear this from a senior executive (who really should know better) that I just laughed and said something to the effect: “wow, that was brutally honest.”
The conversation then came to conclusion after another 30 seconds. Now, as I reflect, I’m somewhat shaken and completely angry. Also slightly turned off. His comment was unprofessional and racist. In my opinion, it’s almost like he said, I won’t work with black people.
So, I’m wondering, am I off base here? Am I being too sensitive? Truth be told, if said comment was made to me by someone in a bar, I probably would have laughed it off. But to hear those words spoken by a senior level executive in a professional environment, is just shocking!