By R. Christopher Haines, President and CEO

I know I’m like a broken record on this stuff. I know some of my good friends are salespeople, and a big part of my own job is sales. But some salespeople drive me nuts. I have to wonder what kind of people actually have such little self-respect that they fall for these tactics.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Email 1: Hi Chris, I’ve been checking out your website and I can see you look like the kind of person who might really be able to take advantage of how our state-of-the-art hand soap could benefit the success of your organization. (Remember, Marias offers IT services. So that must be some good soap to help us succeed.) Over 600,000 people have used our soap. We need to setup a call ASAP.
  •  Email 2, 12 hours later: Hi Chris, I’m a little surprised that you have not responded to my email. I’m not sure you really understand what this hand soap could do for your company.
  • Email 3, the next day: Chris, I know you are a busy, but I would have thought you could have seen the value in our hand soap. I can’t believe you haven’t responded by now.
  • Email 4, two days later: Chris, I guess you just aren’t interested in good hand soap. I thought I was emailing the person who makes these kinds of decisions for your company. Can you point me in the direction of the person who might?
  • Probably the best, Email 5, a few days after Email 4: Chris, I know you are busy, but could you please just reply with A, B, or C?
    A. I have no interest in this hand soap.
    B. I have interest, but do not have time.
    C. Please check back with me next month.

This dude wasn’t actually selling hand soap. But it could be something just as irrelevant to me and my business. The timeline is real. I just went through this dance in the last two weeks. And I love the comment about my not being the person who makes those kinds of decisions. What’s that supposed to do? Awaken something in me that says, “I’ll show him who makes the decisions around here. Give me some of that soap.”

Who the heck buys from these people? Who tells them this kind of crap works? Do they ever really sell anything? For me, it becomes a game about time I get the second email. There’s no way I’m responding. I’d probably fake my own death before interacting with such a person.

These kinds of people are the reason I feel guilty at times trying to sell things to our prospects. I’m always fearful they think of me the way I think of the nut from the email chain above. We’re very low-pressure about sales here. We use our marketing and branding to let people know we exist and where we might be able to help. We might send an occasional email, snail mail some info, or make a call every so often. But that’s enough.

I don’t understand the need for aggressive sales techniques. If you take pride in what you offer, and do what you say you’re going to do, referrals from happy customers and friends in the industry who know your track record might be enough to keep you busy.

If you’re having trouble making it on that, maybe your soap isn’t all you say it is.

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