<Begin Rant> I receive dozens of unsolicited emails, phone calls and LinkedIn messages every week, and they all seem to have the same tone. Personalized, urgent call to action or subject line. Overly friendly approach. “Hey Sue this is John again from XYZ company getting back with you about XYZ product” as if I’d reached out to them to start.
Many message me about how their solution will REALLY help my bottom line, but many don’t know wIhat my bottom line is. I’ve never used a single Oracle product in my life, yet consultants have me in their CRM (customer relationship management) and pursue me relentlessly with the same messaging week after week about how they can streamline my process for a mere $50k.
I’ve reached the point where I can tell just by your LinkedIn profile that if I accept your connection request, I’m going to get a copied and pasted direct message from you. Within seconds of my accepting. Just stop.
I’ve learned not to accept any outside calls at my desk (sorry switchboard operators) and I NEVER answer my personal cell if I don’t have you in my contacts. Note: If you are trying to reach me for business, leave a message for me and I will call you back.
As I wrote in my blog Customer Service, Please Be a Human, marketing technology should be invisible, and serve to make your customer’s life easier. Instead, marketers are using their CRMs and automated drip campaigns as an easy button for creating relationships. Poorly formatted, broken and incessant emails do not create relationships. Using guilt when I don’t respond does not work either. These techniques turn people off and keep them from doing business with you.
Take this gem from an Oracle consultant. I’ve left off the company name so as to not expose the guilty.
Or how about this one from someone I’ve never met?
Or this one. How did I end up on this list? I’ve never heard of this product and never reached out to them in any way. This is why the CAN SPAM law was created, yet we’re clearly not following it.
Or when you try to personalize your emails because the latest marketing research says personalization increases conversions, yet you don’t check to make sure your CRM fields actually line up with the merge fields in your email template.
Despite all the automated processes available to marketers, there’s still no shortcut to creating actual relationships. Your customers aren’t numbers in a marketing dashboard. You have to take the time to find out what they need, then be ready to deliver it. As I’ve said since I started in social media marketing, there’s a person at the other end of that keyboard.
Talk to them like they aren’t a pie chart. <End Rant>
If you have examples of #salesfail posts you’ve received, let me know in the comments. If you’d like to work with me, contact me to get started!