Get ready for a rant about bad sales practices. I am on a tear to protest the wasteful, ineffective, and unqualified pitch emails — apparently mass blasts — from salespeople who (I can only surmise) must be trying to avoid a phone call. These emails always request an appointment or a demo — almost always for something I am obviously not a candidate for!
I know a real person had to go through some human effort to send the email to me — because I have a defense in place. Senders have to respond correctly to a “challenge” email before the email will reach me. Infuriatingly, often I get a SECOND email asking whether I got the FIRST (TOTALLY USELESS) email.
It’s baffling to me that people are using poor sales practices and tactics like this. They have not taken time to do research to appropriately target their message to qualified prospects before blasting an email out that serves only to annoy.
Last week I received such an email from the owner of a sales training company — pitching exactly this kind of email prospecting to me. I replied back to him with my thoughts….
This kind of mass-email prospecting is popular and lots of companies have bought into this process. But this is what they’re not considering: Behavior like this does damage to brands and to the marketplace.
What they haven’t taken into account is the damage it actually causes. Here’s a question to consider: “If an incompetent voicemail gets deleted immediately, did it do any harm?”
Sure it does. Here’s how.
People (at least some people) are likely to remember the experience overall, to which they may attach a company name. If the call leaves a bad taste, then they might decide to avoid that company in the future.
As long as we’re talking about poor practices, idiocy doesn’t stop with emails.
Bad sales calls are not rare, and there will always be people who are untrained. But some companies should know better!
Just today, I received a call from Unknown (so said the Caller ID.) That was the first mistake. If they’re trying to hide their identity, I’m pretty sure it isn’t going to go well. But, I answer with, “This is Art,” because sometimes these calls are prospects looking to hire me and I don’t want to assume.
The voice blows past an incoherent introduction of himself and company in a split second.
“Whoa. Who did you say you were with?”
He repeated it and immediately launched into a pitch on his lead-scoring-predictive-analytics something or other, game changing, revolutionary tool, perfect for sales teams, etc. — which I am not a prospect for, since I am a sales team of one.
I stopped him and asked him what research he did before his call. That took him aback, because the answer was clearly “none” and then he said that he really didn’t need to do research since I was a member of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (the membership list he was apparently working from).
“You’re a good prospect for me,” he said, as if my membership was research enough.
I informed him that not only was I not a prospect, but he would have realized that if he had just done a LinkedIn search on me. I recommended my book Smart Calling and then signed off.
It’s not that hard to do — try some elementary research before you call. Prospects are smarter now, and they expect that. If you’re going to email or call, then tailor, personalize, and customize your initial contact in order to have any chance.
The world is already too noisy; don’t make it worse.
Art Sobczak helps sales pros get through, get in, and sell without “cold” calling or “rejection.” Get his free ebook of 501 telephone prospecting and sales tips here.