The Eagle Blog

Sales 101 … How Not to Sell!

It is sometimes nice to be on the other side of a sales situation, the buyer rather than the seller. I am always interested when the sellers try different tactics, sometimes things I like and others that I don’t.

Recently we have been looking around for supplier to distribute our newsletter for us. We need this help because we have a potential audience of 20 plus thousand people and we don’t want to be accused of spam. These services offer the capability to manage our email list and let people subscribe or unsubscribe appropriately ( we were handling this manually previously). They also have relationships with the ISPs to avoid us being labeled as spammers.

When we decided to look into this I asked one of our temporary employees (who has since become full-time) to take a look and see what was out there. What an interesting exercise!

We had various experiences, ranging from highly responsive companies right through to the company in my cross-hairs today who were unwilling to give any information. This person wanted to talk to Erin’s boss. Can’t blame her for trying … but the approach was a little strange.

Two weeks after requesting preliminary information this is the email she received …

Sorry this has taken me a bit to get back to you I have been off sick. It is my understanding that right now you are currently doing preliminary research on your email program. I can tell you right now if this is a price war we are NEVER the low bidder. I have put together some prices based on the information given. Note: some pricing information followed. but with the 2 lines of pricing this was the complete email!

Some advice for this sales person…

1. Don’t let your boss see this email!
2. If you want to sell something other than price … then you need to articulate that.
3. If you take two weeks to get back to someone don’t blame sickness … it is a stretch, unless you go on to explain your near-death experience etc!
4. Get a new career … or get some training fast, before you drive your company out of business!

Clients want to deal with responsive organizations that can provide them with a good solution for their problem. You do not need to be the cheapest solution, but you do need to bring true value.

The CPSA offer some pretty good sales training if you want to learn the basics of the profession!

2 thoughts on “Sales 101 … How Not to Sell!

  1. What a great post!!!! and in the immortal words of Homer Simpson… “DOH!”

    I often wonder why people CHOOSE to be (and stay) in the jobs they current hold and wonder even more why a company would let them stay in this position. Scary.

    I found their response VERY interesting. By attempting to deflect their incompetence, they threw their own company under the bus! Fact is, people get sick, go on vacation, long-term leave (and hopefully in this case EXTREME long-term leave), and I would expect a company would have an appropriate contingency plan to quickly handle a potential new client who knocked on their door. Makes it pretty hard to charge a for a premium service when it takes two weeks to reply to an e-mail. I mean, what would happen if Eagle did choose them as their new newsletter person and the person in charge of hitting the send button that month decides to stay home instead.

    Oh well, I guess they have too much money.

  2. What a great post!!!! and in the immortal words of Homer Simpson… “DOH!”

    I often wonder why people CHOOSE to be (and stay) in the jobs they current hold and wonder even more why a company would let them stay in this position. Scary.

    I found their response VERY interesting. By attempting to deflect their incompetence, they threw their own company under the bus! Fact is, people get sick, go on vacation, long-term leave (and hopefully in this case EXTREME long-term leave), and I would expect a company would have an appropriate contingency plan to quickly handle a potential new client who knocked on their door. Makes it pretty hard to charge a for a premium service when it takes two weeks to reply to an e-mail. I mean, what would happen if Eagle did choose them as their new newsletter person and the person in charge of hitting the send button that month decides to stay home instead.

    Oh well, I guess they have too much money.

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