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Interesting Strategy: "We inspire sales people…." Didn’t Inspire Me!

by David Brock on July 22nd, 2009
Yesterday, I got an intriguing tweet. It was from an individual and simply stated, “We inspire sales people. If interested let’s connect.” I have to admit, the pitch caught my interest. I looked at his twitter profile and saw roughly 95% of his 374 updates had one of 3 variants of the same pitch.

It got me to thinking, aren’t many of our initial introductions and value propositions to prospects very similar? Too often, don’t we hear: “Hi, I’m Debbie Smith from XYZ Company. We make the best widgets in the world, if you are interested let’s connect.”

These introductions may be true, but they are ineffective for a number of reasons. Some of these are:

1. Who is the person calling and are they credible? Why should I listen to their opinion? Sometimes, our company name is enough to get someone to listen. In the case of the guy who tweeted me, I may have been interested if I saw a number of insightful tweets, inspirational to sales. Instead, I saw 100’s of the same query—with very few responses/uptakes. I have established many new relationships on Twitter with people who do provide inspirational advice on sales, leadership and business. While I haven’t met them, based on what I have seen, they are credible to me.

2. These generic introductions make me feel like “To Current resident or Occupant.” Particularly when I see I am one of several 100 getting the same message. Take the time to personalize the introduction if you want to produce results. If the guy had said: I liked Sales The Thinking Person’s Profession and would like to share ideas. Would you be interested? (103 characters) The personalized approach and interest in me would have made me very receptive to a discussion. With very little effort, a slightly different approach would have produced profoundly different results. When we meet or call a prospect, are we saying something that personalizes the conversation, demonstrating our interest in them?

3. Tell me a little about yourself and why I should be interested in you. This is somewhat related to the credibility issue, but people buy from people. I like to know a little about the person I’m dealing with. That’s part of the step we call “establishing rapport.” It may be a few second, or it may be part of your twitter profile, but I respond to people.

Would you add anything more? I know I’ve just scratched the surface of this issue.

This tweet was a great example of what too many sales people do in introducing themselves to prospects. It doesn’t take much to change our approach, but the slightest changes can produce profoundly different results.

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  1. Yes! I just got a LinkedIn request (from a stranger) and it took me less than 90 seconds to look at their profile, tweet stream, and connections. I turned him down and politely told him why.

    In your situation – I would’ve been intrigued too. Who doesn’t love someone who inspires salespeople? And then BAM, you find out it’s a sham.

    Why use any vehicle if sincerity is missing? Sheesh.

    Bravo you.

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