I would like to share with you an incredibly heartfelt letter that I received from a fan of this blog. Don reached out to me after having attended my webinar. Don’s entire letter to me embodies the reasons why I do what I do. In an ideal world there would be no need for my services to teach and train others how to authentically communicate with LGBT people. Don’s mentality of why LGBT people really do need to be treated differently is so spot on – in a perfect world you shouldn’t be treating your LGBT clients and customers differently – you should just be inclusive of LGBT people in all of your marketing efforts. I call this concept of including LGBT folks in your marketing, Inclusion Based Marketing. You can read more about this here.
So here is Don’s letter from Picasso Catering in Tacoma Washington. Please reach out and let me know what you think, either in the comments or on social media.
Letter of Inclusion
I just wanted to touch base with you today as I was in the audience this morning for your webinar, which I enjoyed and appreciated. I just came across your website the other day and I immediately signed up. This may get a little long winded, which is why I chose to email you directly as posting it on your blog. If you deem it valuable at all, please feel free to do with it what you like.
So I own a catering business in Tacoma, WA. My partners and I took over what was an existing catering company Jan 1. 2013 and changed the name. All of the partners (4) worked for the previous owner. After finding your website I soon signed up to attend the seminar and have begun investigating even more than I had before doing business with the LGBT community. As a straight guy who grew up in NYC, ran a store in Greenwich Village in the 80’s amongst some of my other endeavors, I never really thought twice about the involvement/investment in the LGBT that would be required to do business within the community. The store was a mainstay in the neighborhood and served the entire incredibly diverse neighborhood without a second thought of anyone’s preferences of any type.
I mentioned to my 17 year old daughter yesterday who is straight but belongs to her schools GSA club that I was participating in today’s webinar. She is well aware that other than terrorists & criminals, that I have no bias toward anyone and we all deserve the same rights, courtesies and respect. So then she said that knowing me, why would I feel the need to participate and furthermore, that the LGBT community’s need to qualify my business because once an individual met me, they would feel as comfortable with anyone they knew gay or straight.
I agreed with my daughter that the LGBT community should have no issue with doing business with me, and would think that once they got to know my company and me. This was our first year in business under our new name and we did 4 same sex marriages last year to the level of satisfaction of our clients that has probably only been equaled and not surpassed by our “straight clientele”. As the previous owner did not share our views, the fact that we were afforded the opportunity to provide our services at the same high level we serve everyone was an extremely proud moment for all of us.
It hit me right away and it was further confirmed by your statement of becoming involved within the LGBT community in earnest. The story you told about the business owner who was in it for the money. It’s justified that a group of any people, gay, straight, black, green or otherwise who have for so long been excluded to reap all the benefits of our society would and could be certainly justified to question with whom who they do business.
But your point of involvement and what my “why” was further reinforced my reasoning for subscribing to your site. My personal why for my business simple – I look at catering as entertainment. While we do catering of all kinds, corporate and private, when it comes to more of the festive type events (i.e. weddings), these are emotional events where people expect to have a good time. Great food and service at these events are the lynchpins. My view is that I want everyone to have a good time and that I know I can show them one. I feel that reinforcement some of what should be common sense needs to be brought to everyone’s attention. I know it’s a slow road but a road worth taking for all the right reasons.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. It was so incredible to receive this e-mail because I guide the business owners I work with to have a similar mentality to what Don expressed. I want to know what you think and how you approach marketing to the LGBT community in your business. Please write to me in the comments below, message me via social media or send me an e-mail direct. If others can learn from what you are doing it is a win-win!
Come experience my next webinar – it’s free and it’s packed with information designed to show you how to authentically market to the LGBT community. RSVP here.