The Top 10 Laziest Sales Tactics

Original post date August 27, 2010

The amount of “lameness” on the part of some sales people (and some marketers) has now come to a point that I think a public flogging is in order. To those Michael Scott’s of the world (and I like Michael), know that we are on to you. The following tactics have never, and will never, produce a lead.

1. Filling out a company’s contact form on the website with ”contact me if you need…” Yep, I’ll get right on that.  (Click on the image below, it may take a moment to build).

Mike, for example, was able to jam an entire spam email onto our company contact me form, impressive.  Sure, I will take the time to read the entire message box and get back to you.

But wait, sensing that I might not take him seriously, he submits the form again 2 minutes later.

2. Sending an email blast with the generic intro of “Dear Sir.” Forget everything you’ve learned about 1 to 1 marketing, personalization, relevancy, this just might work.  Just get a list, and go.
3. Even better, the telemarketing of version of the “no effort” approach.  Cold calling and asking; “can you please tell me who handles…”  Instead of you doing your job, you’re now asking me to do it for you — beautiful.
4. Some telemarketers have taken it to a whole new level. Love the folks who leave a message without saying why they are calling, but then ask you to call them back. And my personal favorite — the rep who invented the “I’m returning your call…”   It’s like the guy you knew in college that spent hours figuring out how to cheat for a test, instead of using the time to study.
5. Advertising your services in the comment section of a blog.  Let’s take Jeff D, he didn’t even try to hide it in a link.  He went straight for the kill.
It’s not all bad because he does give me “props” at the end of the ad…”I like your information it is helpful to me.”  Mmm, is it helpful because it gives you an opportunity to display spam?   Apparently so, because Jeff D comes back 6 days later, this time pimping new services, Website design and development.  Notice I get no “props” this time.  Pretty tricky changing the name of the company, almost didn’t catch him.
To Jeff D, and all the other spammers, know that bloggers decide whether or not to post your comments.  The comments above never made it public, I saved them for my own personal enjoyment, and this blog post.   Also, know that Blogspot, as well as other platforms, now have enable spam filters.  Good luck on future postings.
6. Posting a discussion within a Linked-in group that isn’t a discussion, but rather, an advertisement for your company…it’s not a discussion; it’s spam, and it’s annoying.

 

Take Mr. Gupta for example, at Web Box Office. He’s advertising “Learn the secrets to success with attendee-funded webinars.” Sounds good, huh. Guess who’s paying for the webinar…you are, Mr. attendee, if you register.

7. Using the yellow pages as your prospect database. I’m not kidding, people are still using it. Just wait until they find out about the internet.

8. Offering something FREE, unless it is truly FREE.  Taking a credit card number so you can start billing a customer after a “free” trial is not free.  This is not selling, it’s scamming.   There are rules, some people call them laws, governing this practice.  See FreeCredit Report.com for an example of how not to do it.
9. Any email coming from Nigeria, or any other country, offering a fortune if you could just help them  by giving them your social security number, bank account number, etc.  To good to be true, something for nothing?  Any of this ringing a bell?  Ok, maybe I’m a little bitter because I’m still waiting for my $1M from the British Lottery Authority.
10.  Actually, couldn’t think of a 10th, but I’m sure there’s one or more out there.  I’d love to hear your experiences.  Add your “Top 10” story in the comment section, but please easy on the spam.  Jeff D takes up a lot of my time.

I know that times are tough, but with the amount of information now available in the public domain, there is just no excuse for these tactics other than…just plain laziness.  C’mon guys, kick it up a notch!   If not, I’ll be out with the Top 10 sequel or maybe a FREE webinar.

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scott.gillum

Scott is the Founder of Carbon Design Co and the former head of the Washington, DC office of gyro, the largest B2B agency in the world. Prior to joining gyro, he spent a dozen years at a professional services firm that specializes in B2B sales and marketing. Scott also writes a monthly column for Media Post and has contributed to three books on B2B Sales and Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @sgillum

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