This Is Not Prospecting

A “salesperson” sent me an email to tell me that his company is helping companies like mine by doing their “outbound lead generation” work for them. Instead of asking me for a meeting, he ends by asking me if any of his “data points” were important to me finding new clients.

I immediately deleted his email.

Two days later I received another email from this “salesperson.” He begins by asking me if I clicked on the link in his previous email. Of course, I am certain his software would indicate that I clicked no link. At the end of the email, he asks me if I am interested in “getting some sample data” that I can validate.

I delete his second email, but not before I send it to Jeb Blount, the author of Fanatical Prospecting. Jeb emailed me back to ask for permission to use it on his email wall of shame (permission granted). How could I possibly entertain hiring someone to prospect on my behalf who believes that this is the best and most effective approach to prospecting.

A few days later, I received a third email from the sales person. It contains the two prior emails and begin by “making sure I got the last two emails. This “salesperson” reminds me that he is working with clients in my industry and asks if I am interested in “finding more potential clients.”

It is clear to me that the sales person has no idea who I am. He knows nothing about me.

Six days later, I receive a fourth email to “make sure last three emails got through.” He asks how I “currently find new clients.”

I emailed him back suggesting that his prospecting strategy is extraordinarily ineffective and that it creates no value. I copied Jeb Blount on the email and asked the “salesperson” to pick up Jeb’s book Fanatical Prospecting. I suggested that Jeb would probably send him a book if he agreed to stop spamming me.

Today this “salesperson,” whose company specializes in prospecting and scheduling appointments for other companies, sent me an email to tell me that his in-house demand generation specialist sent the prior emails. In doing so, he revealed that he did not in fact send any of these emails to me himself. But then the hapless salesperson insisted that his company could help my company, a company that he knows nothing about, and a company that fearlessly picks up the phone to schedule appointments and wins very large accounts.

This is not prospecting. It is not “demand generation” either. If you expect a stampede as a result of spamming people, you are going to feel a tremendous sense of disappointment. If you think this a customer acquisition strategy, you are mistaken.

This is not sales. This is not selling.

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Filed under: Opening Opportunities, Prospecting

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