If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve either sent or received a sales pitch recently.  Sometimes they’re disguised as “networking opportunities” or “partnership proposals”, but the message is usually the same: You have something we want, so how can we get it?  That something can be money, services, recognition, or even an affiliation with your brand.  If you’re on the receiving end of these so called opportunities, it’s usually pretty easy to wade through which choices are good and which ones may not get you very far.  If you’re not sure, ask someone you trust.  Unfortunately, one bad decision in your business relationships can follow you for a long time.

If you’re the one sending the pitch, I’m going to help you out a bit here.  Here are five surefire ways to get your pitch/proposal/opportunity sent right to the trash.  Avoid these types of messages, and maybe your communication will actually get read.

  • Sending multiple (extra points if you’re pushy) requests for communication.  Send an email, wait for response.  Seems pretty simple, right?  Nah.  One so-called partner that I’ve recently spoken with has sent no less than five follow up emails.  After I told him that his method for finding my contact info was shady and that I wasn’t interested in speaking with him further.  Not listening to a potential customer’s wishes is a great way to not only lose their business, but to really tick them off.  Consider yourself blocked, pushy sales guy.  Two thumbs up for effort though!images (1)
  • Calling your potential client the wrong name.  Yes, I know it happens, but come on.  My name is not only in my email address, which you’ve somehow managed to get right, but it is also in my signature.  If we’ve spoken back and forth more than once or twice, I do expect you to get my name right.  Especially if you’re so kindly trying to relieve me of my hard earned money.
  • Act far too comfortable with your (nonexistent) relationship.  Sending an initial pitch with a “Hooray! It’s almost time for happy hour!” note and dancing gif before any communication is a great way to fast track your correspondence.  If you’re feeling extra crazy, offer to let them buy you a drink at the local gentlemen’s club so you can talk business.  Right to the trash can.  Extra points if your new non-buddy can’t tell if your message is real or spam as they send it to the depths of the trash file.
  • Let your new buddy know that you’re doing them a favor by partnering with them.  Really, how did they even get by without hiring you before now?  Good thing you were able to track them down to let them know!
  • If all else fails, get angry.  You tell that potential partner that they’re making a foolish choice if they don’t choose to work with you.  Get really mad!  Hurl an insult or two, that’s sure to get their attention!  Make sure to remind them that without you, they’re nothing.

While this may seem silly, I have encountered each and every one of the aforementioned sales tactics within the last several months.  If you own or run a company that has a sales team, you may want to check in with them and see how they correspond with their potential clients.  I’m not a fan of cold-calling, but I know it happens.  If you must do it, you may want to check in and make sure no one within your organization is making your company blog fodder.  Even if you’re not selling directly, this can affect not only their reputation, but also the reputation of you and your brand.

Have you gotten an overly off the wall or offensive pitch lately? We’d love to hear about it!  Any great ones?  We know they’re out there…  Right?

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