I receive “cold call emails” all the time…. I guess as President of the company, I’m a magnet for salespeople. Fine… it comes with the territory.
But this past week, I received a sales email so bad that I had to share it (names are being withheld so they don’t die of shame!).
The email starts with “Happy Friday, hope you had a stellar week thus far!” That opening sentence is the email equivalent of a telemarketer starting off their dinner-interrupting phone call with, “How are you today?” It’s so disingenuous that I was immediately polarized against reading anything else.
But, out of morbid curiosity, I continued…
Next up, the email read, “I see that you are in the Research Division over at Harpeth Marketing…” Seriously?! If this sales rep had taken just 15 seconds to look at our website or my LinkedIn profile, she would have seen that a) we don’t do research and b) what my role here really is. Why are most salespeople so damn lazy?!
Then she went on to say (and I’m paraphrasing), “Since you work in research, I want to sell you my research-related product… blah, blah, blah.”
But wait, it gets better (or worse, actually). Following all of that bad text, she then inserted the following image in the email.
Are you kidding me? Is she thinking that will warm me up? Does she think I might like that sort of thing in my business communications (from someone I don’t know!)? Is she trying to help herself stand out? [Oh, it did that for sure!]
And her sign off was, “Thanks, Mary.” And right below that, “Thanks, Mary” again. No kidding.
Clearly, they found my name on some list and this sales rep just went down the list and starting sending out emails hoping someone might bite. It was amateurish… lazy… and poorly executed.
Maybe the sales rep is new. Maybe she’s not been given much training. Maybe she’s getting no guidance or resources from her manager. But if this is what the company’s sales team is putting out into the marketplace as a way to help drive revenue growth, then the person in charge of their sales effort should be fired… either for not knowing any better or for allowing it to happen!
I get it… selling ain’t easy. I know… I do it every day. It requires hard work, smart interaction with sales prospects and a crazy amount of diligence and determination. Cutesy emails, off-target messaging and not qualifying sales prospects are no way to go about it.
So, before you go to market with any sort of sales initiative, take a few minutes to look at it through the eyes of a recipient. And if you think there’s even the slightest chance that it might irritate a sales prospect or embarrass your firm… back up and start again! Remember, when you’re in sales, you only get one chance to make a first impression!