For years, some people in the sales training and development world have suggested that you leave very vague voice mail messages, saying as little as possible to get your call returned. They’ve suggested trust-destroying ideas like recommending that your dream client’s competitor said something about them, pretending to be disconnected in the middle of a statement, or just leaving your name and phone number with a message that you “need to speak with them about an important matter.”
The same idea is now being applied to email. In the past few days, I have received emails titled, “Just following up,” and “Information you requested,” when neither of these statements were true. There was no trust yet established, but now both of these salespeople are working from a deficit (isn’t selling challenging enough without starting from behind?).
An email I received through LinkedIn said, “To give elaborate details of the purpose of this connection, please email directly on . . .” That’s the pitch? The note is super-compelling, just not in the way the salesperson or his company intended it to be. My mouse found the delete button in milliseconds.
- When prospecting, regardless of the medium, your job is to establish yourself as a value creator. Your message needs to prove that you have the ability to make a difference for your prospective clients. The more cryptic or opaque your request, the more certain you can be that it will be ignored, rejected, and deleted. It can’t be any other way when you haven’t established value.
- Your second outcome when prospecting is to have a sales call value proposition that is compelling enough that your dream client can confidently agree to give you a meeting. When you try to hide your intentions, you prove one of two things; either you have no value proposition, or it is so self-oriented that it is the same as not having one. There has to be something in it for your dream client. It’s always about them.
If you want a meeting, you have to deserve the meeting. Trying to be sneaky, tricky, and deceitful isn’t a strategy for consultative salespeople.