This is a bit of a ranty post, for which I make no apologies. Bounce off the page now if you want to avoid.
Professionally, I get a lot of people trying to sell me stuff. It doesn’t seem to matter that I have very little responsibility for purchasing decisions, they’re looking for an ‘in.’
I don’t object to sales messaging completely, but there are some techniques that need some improvement.
Adding me on LinkedIn
People keep trying to LinkIn with me with the blatant intention of selling me their services. If you send me a generic invite, with out so much as a sentence providing me with a reason to connect with you, yet I can see on your profile that you own some SEO agency or are business development for some buzzword entitled software provider, I am highly disinclined to accept your invite. At least try and personalise the message.
LinkedIn Group Spammer
Worse than the above, but still on LinkedIn, you’ve found me in a group that you claim to be a part of and use this to strike up a conversation. If I’m not active in that group, I won’t care that we have this in common, and if I am active in the group, I’ll know whether or not you are. If you’re not active, I’ll call you out in the group as a spammer and you’ll most likely be banned. (This happened in the Marketing Over Coffee group).
You know me because you tried to sell me something previously
Now you work at another company and assure me your new company has a better product than the old one. I’m not sure I trust you any more. Unless we built up some kind of rapport previously, please don’t bother. It feels like you’re clutching at straws rather than truly considering my needs as a customer.
You jump into my Twitter conversation with someone else and go straight in to the sales pitch without adding any value
As soon I have any conversation about Social Media providers, there’s Salescloud, Meltwater Buzz, Pulsar and some other random provider telling me to contact them directly. How about showing me your expertise in Social and actually getting involved in my conversation. I get that your monitoring tool has picked me up on your social radar (keyword group), but that is the least I’d expect of a Social Media monitoring tool. I want you to prove yourself as an expert too.
I know it’s not easy selling something cold, so why try. Shouldn’t your company be offering trials, speaking at conferences and networking in person to build some interest?
Contact the businesses you genuinely believe you can help and demonstrate this through having a two way conversation with them and showing your expertise. Listening, personalising communications and offering trials are all good options.
Do you have any pet hates about sales messaging? Drop me a comment below.