You are Midas Investment Services’ specialist in estate planning. You give talks to various groups during the year about estate planning. You ask nonprofit groups (churches, etc.) just to reimburse your expenses; you charge for-profit groups a fee plus expenses. These fees augment your income nicely, and the talks also are marvelous exposure for you and your company.
Every February for the last five years, Gardner Manufacturing Company has hired you to conduct an eight hour workshop (two hours every Monday night for four weeks) on retirement and estate planning for its employees who are over 60 or who are thinking of taking early retirement. These workshops are popular and have generated clients for your company. The session last February went smoothly, as you have come to expect.
Today, out of the blue, you got a letter from Hope Goldberger, Director of Employee Benefits at Gardner, asking you to conduct the workshops every Tuesday evening next month at your usual fee. She didn’t say whether this is an extra series or whether this will replace next February’s series. You can’t do it. Your spouse, a geneticist is giving an invited paper at an international conference in Paris next month and the two of you are taking your children, ages 13 and 9, on a three-week trip to Europe. (You’ve made arrangements with school authorities to have the kids miss three weeks of classes.) You’ve been looking forward to and planning the trip for the last eight months.
Unfortunately, Midas Investment Services is a small group, and the only other person who knows anything about estate planning is a terrible speaker. You could suggest a friend at another financial management company, but you don’t want Gardner to turn to someone else permanently; you enjoy doing the workshops and find them a good way to get leads.
Write the letter to Ms. Goldberger