I received a call around fifteen years ago from a company called Green Mount Coffee, in Vermont, which I never heard of before. They had partnered with Keurig who made a single-serve coffee machine which I knew nothing about and were wondering if we'd represent them in trying to launch their new concept. When I saw their product, I thought there was no way it would be successful in the southeast because we're Folger's and Maxwell House people and we like to brew our coffee in a pot.
My first thought was that we should politely decline bringing them on as a client. The only two reasons we decided to represent them was that their company was awesome in their stance on a company culture that took great care of their employees, and their representatives were so polite and professional. They were our kind of people.
Representing Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee wasn't a business decision, it was a heart decision. I liked them, not their product. I couldn’t have been more wrong about just how successful their products would become. Now it's hard to find any big retailer who doesn't sell Keurig machines and just about every grocery store in my world sells K-Cups (single pod coffee). Our marketing and sales team shocked me at their ability to introduce Keurig and Green Mountain to the southeast market.
The moral to the story, sometimes it truly is better to lead with the heart not the head, even in the business world.