Published on May 5, 2015
When you’re a busy entrepreneur, there’s nothing worse than having your time wasted. A lot of frustration can occur as a result of others’ carelessness and disregard for your busy schedule and crowded inbox.
Many sales and marketing professionals continually miss the mark when it comes to outreach practices. From sub-par sales pitches to irrelevant follow up emails, these misfires can result in radio silence, bad word of mouth, or even worse, lost revenue.
So how can you be sure you’re not wasting a potential customer’s valuable time (or worse: pissing them off!) while still accomplishing your sales or marketing agenda?
First and foremost, take a good hard look at every communication you send through a “utility lens”. Is what you’re sending actually helpful or is it just adding to the noise?
Next, think about everything you’ve encountered that secretly made you seethe inside…then do the opposite. You’ll be amazed what you uncover when you turn a critical eye to your own experiences.
Since we’re big believers of putting our money where our mouth is, we decided to cull together 6 sales and marketing tactics we’ve recently endured. Real talk: we’ve experienced EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE at some point in the last 60 days.
If you’re the one calling the shots in terms of sales and marketing content, or you are squarely positioned in front of the customer, do yourself a favor and avoid these at all costs…
1. Distracting pop ups during demos
I think it’s awesome your team does Happy Hour on Wednesday at 4pm, but please keep calendar reminders, text messages, or other distracting notifications from popping up during a screen share demo. It’s unprofessional and let’s be real, I’m more apt to be nosy about your social life than pay attention to your product. Don’t let digital distractions steal the show.
2. Dismissive of pertinent details
When I mention that I’m traveling all next week and won’t have time to make a contract decision until I return, probably best not to send me an email during that week requesting a decision. I’ll be more apt to sign if your follow up timelines take into account my verbalized schedule. Being conscious of someone’s time is likely the best way to demonstrate what a potential working relationship would look like.
3. Over promising, under delivering
It would be ludicrous to think that you have every single piece of information I might be seeking. When I ask questions you don’t have the answer to, simply say so. It’s ok. No judgments! Promising me feature deployment dates I know are unrealistic only makes me doubt your understanding of your company while painting you in a less than ideal light. To instill confidence, let me know you don’t have the answer, but you do know where to track it down.
4. Mind numbing, context-less email
After we chat briefly about your product, you email me a 40-page report that has nothing to do with anything we discussed. AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! It’s highly unlikely I’m going to drop everything to cull through an epic odyssey. Especially when there are no key takeaways or explanation of the report’s pertinence to my decision-making. A personal note nodding to something specific we talked about would be better or, actually…that would be PERFECT.
5. Irrelevant offers
Why oh why do you insist on sending me educational content for B2C organizations when I am so clearly focused on B2B? In a world where the email deluge is out of control, it’s of the utmost importance that anything received by leads, opportunities, customers, and partners be purposeful, targeted, and above all, useful.
6. Apologizing for getting in touch
If the first thing you say in an email is, “Sorry for reaching out”, why did you press send on the email? You may think apologies are a good way to build relationship, but it actually undermines your professional demeanor. There’s nothing more aggravating then receiving a communication that’s positioned as an error. Reach out with a valid reason or don’t reach out at all.
Got any other classic marketing and sales pitfalls to share? Help us help you…because together we can all give each other a little break and have a much better chance of reaching our goals!