Is Your Sales Message Interesting?

Probably not.

In fact, most of the sales messaging that I see or receive are overly “me” centric and are focused on what companies and their sales people want to sell versus actually caring about what buyers want and need.

Unsolicited messages that are ill conceived, generic, boring, use jargon that means
nothing to your prospect and are not tailored to the needs and interests of the people receiving them. These messages are so commonplace that it seems that sales people, marketers and the companies that employ them just don’t care. If I could point to one thing that I think needs immediate attention and correction in sales and marketing orgs globally…this would be it!

I’ve shared examples before of the types of emails that sales people must stop sending. I had one all cued up when another jewel of a message arrived in my inbox that I just had to shine some light on. Sort of sad really that I have so many to choose from!

The twist is that it comes from a competitor and it reads like this…

“Barb - I’m sure you know a salesperson or two that could use a good selling tip from time to time (whether they know it or not).  Is there anyone in your network that’s recently mentioned prospecting or networking as a challenge for their team?  Or, maybe they’ve mentioned not getting good leads from marketing?  If so, how would I go about connecting with them?

I appreciate our connection and the value it brings!  By the way Barb, any connections I can help you with?

Regards, Your Competitor”

Clueless never takes a day off!

I am loosely connected to this guy at best. We sell competing services…in the same geographic market, I might add. Yet, he still asks if I know people who have mentioned prospecting and networking in today’s business environment as a challenge. He must know that I do; otherwise why is he reaching out to me?

Or, does he? Listen to what some colleagues on LinkedIn have to say.

I did a little crowdsourcing today to find out what some of my colleagues thought. Here are just a few of the comments:

“So much stupid. Where to begin? a) Mass emails are a bad idea if you want actual customers. (If you just want to show your boss you’re doing some “work,” then sure, go ahead and send out emails blindly.) b) Take time to develop a qualified list. Research the companies and individual targets. Find contacts that can introduce you and get you in the door. c) This isn’t rocket science.”

“I get so tired of people looking for the quick-easy fix. If they had invested some time developing or establishing a professional relationship with you, they could have gotten somewhere. Looking forward to reading your post.”

“Unfortunately, some are now using LinkedIn to build “suspect lists” for unrequested prospecting rather than an introduction process. I’ve had the same happen to me. Sure we all do it to some extent, but blatantly is both annoying and disrespectful. We have a growing number of members who have a different set of values.”

“I seriously doubt the sender KNOWS you’re a competitor. They harvested your email somewhere and sent unsolicited, un-targeted email. I get stuff from competitors all the time and occasionally, I write back and say, “Hello? Do you not have any idea what I do?” But that’s cuz I’m a redhead and think it’s my mission to beat the stupid out of people sometimes.”

Should I do the competitor’s job for them?

Though I’m the first one to make referrals, as they make sense, I’m certainly not going to do my competitor’s job for them. Am I wrong to believe that this guy should cultivate his own relationships with the decision makers he wants to reach?

The irony is that this sales person is so naïve that he probably doesn’t even realize how stupid his email sounds.  If you are blatantly going to approach a competitor to try and gain access to their list, perhaps you should be more creative and interesting.

Doesn’t this seller understand that what he sends is a brand killer?

More importantly, what if I’m the prospect for what he is selling? You can see the problem, right? Why would I send people from my sales team to your sales training when you can’t even sell worth a darn yourself?

Buyers are assaulted with emails from sales people who use this type of unthinking approach all the time. Yet, sales people and marketers continue to complain that decision makers are harder to reach.

Well, of course they are.  Stop confusing ACTIVITY with EFFECTIVENESS. They are not the same thing!

Change your message, change your approach and maybe you will finally get somewhere!


Join me on April 24th, along with colleagues Trish Bertuzzi, Nancy Nardin and Lori Richardson to learn how to make your sales approach more interesting and get more sales!

One thought on “Is Your Sales Message Interesting?

  1. Barb,

    I think part of the issue is that many folks don’t understand the difference between a suspect and a prospect.

    Sales 1980′s. Throw enough *&^% against the wall and see what sticks.

    Not a very effective strategy in today’s world.


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