We were sitting around chatting one evening after dinner, my wife Hannah, my 26-year old daughter and I (Stella, our Beagle pup, participated by nudging one of us, then another, to urge that we pet her non-stop). Orly sells high-end Manhattan real estate, so we often talk marketing and sales.
“Orly, I said, “if not for a marketing letter I received one day, you wouldn’t be sitting here right now.” That elicited a half-smile and a quizzical look. I went on to explain that in the late 1970’s I received a letter from an accountant offering his services. It just so happened that my bank was suggesting (demanding?) that the company that I had co-founded in 1970 should provide it with audited statements from a CPA. To that point our attorney, Bill DeLorenzo, had done our accounting, in addition to our legal work.
There was something about the tenor of the letter that struck a chord, so I picked up the phone and called the letter’s author, Jay Sanders. Little company that we were, I was surprised when Mr. Sanders offered to visit my factory to discuss what he could offer us. After all, he was in Manhattan and we were in Yonkers, a New York City suburb, parts of which had seen better days…and we were in one of those parts.
As time went on, Jay and his wife Carol were gracious enough to invite me, a bachelor, to dinner periodically. One day Jay called to invite me and my girlfriend to join them at a party that another of his clients was throwing. My girlfriend had a business function to attend, so Carol suggested that a friend of hers could round out a foursome.
I got to the party early. As people gathered around the piano, I struck up a conversation with a pretty young woman next to me. We exchanged numbers. Shortly thereafter the Sanders arrived, their lovely friend in tow. We had a delightful evening.
A few days later, I decided to call the woman with whom I had exchanged numbers. Some eighteen months later we married. Four years later, Hannah gave birth to Orly. It all started with a marketing letter.
There is a moral to the story, but you knew that, didn’t you?