I recently attended a business networking breakfast. As per standard practice, cards are exchanged and I ended up giving a card to a self proclaimed “internet marketing expert” who had a system that was hotter than the sun and was used by some self anointed guru who has a bazillion followers and gets a gazillion sales and a few more outrageous claims that we’ve all heard before yada, yada, yada!
To be fair, the system is actually half decent, what was immensely off putting was just how aggressive the system spruiker was. She introduced herself, seemed instantly dismissive of what I did or had to say as if she was waiting her turn to deliver her seemingly contrived pitch then delivered a very forceful monologue on what she had to offer and why it was the best thing since sliced bread. She was a human spam machine and I instantly disliked her!
Despite this terrible first impression, I visited the website of the system she was spruiking and it’s actually half decent yet my dislike for Human Spam as we shall call her had given it all a bad vibe and I decided not to pursue it further.
About a week after the meeting I missed a call. I checked my voicemail, instead of hearing “Hi Mal, it’s Human Spam and i’d like to touch base to talk about X” I got a repeat of her forceful pitch delivered in a demeaning tone as if I was an idiot for not having signed up with her ten times and how quickly can I sign up so she can move onto spamming more people with her amazingly life changing email marketing system. Yes, Human Spam had just spammed my voicemail box! I was livid and there was absolutely no way I was going to do business with this woman!
Unsurprisingly, I did not return her call. This didn’t deter the unstoppable force that is the Human Span machine. She called again yesterday:
HER: “Hi! It’s Human Spam, is now a good time to talk?
ME: *very annoyed that she had the gall to call me again despite my disinterest* “No, now is not a good time to talk.”
HER: “When would be a good time?”
ME: *Immensely annoyed that my rude tone has not slowed her pushiness one iota* Never, goodbye!
The lessons I took from the Human Spammer are:
1. Don’t be Aggressive
Some sales people think they can steamroll weaker minds into bending to their will to get the sale. There is no faster way to turn people off your brand or product than to be rude and pushy. Build the relationship first, then sell softly second.
2. Do Your Homework
Research your potential customer BEFORE you contact them. A great part of my irritation with Human Spam was down to her lack of interest or understanding of what I did. She made no mention of my site and didn’t even suggest that I might be able to use her system AS PART OF a strategy as opposed to being THE STRATEGY which was what she inferred.
Show an interest in your customer or prospect and heck, they may show an interest in you.
3. Don’t (Human) Spam
You wouldn’t barge into a group conversation, ram your card into every member’s hand, shout a scripted sales pitch to them without giving them the chance to respond and abruptly leave would you? Didn’t stop Human Spam.
Ask people how you can help them, trust me, it works a whole lot better.