Today we received a call at our offices that my partner Bart answered. The caller asked for me. Since I was not available, Bart asked if he could be of help.
The caller went on to explain what he was offering, which Bart explained to the caller that we were not interested.
The caller then restarted his sales spiel – from the beginning, again. Bart then told the caller we would contact him if we felt we needed his service after we visit their website. The caller said he would follow-up in a few days. Bart again said no, we’ll call you. The caller still insisted he would call us.
Now for the part of this story I cannot make up. Within a few minutes of the call’s termination, I received the following email from the caller with the subject line simply, “Bart”.
Spoke with one of your partners Bart, don’t think he fully grasped what was being conveyed and would wanted to give you an opportunity to take a look at what we have to offer and maybe take a more objective view. Attached is a sample Partnership agreement with income potentials as well as a sample of the assessments we provide. May have caught Bart at a bad time, he seemed a bit preoccupied. Wanted to make sure that the opportunity was extended to all interested parties within the business.”
(This was copy and pasted—typos and all.)
The lesson here seems obvious, but the fact that this actually occurred really has amazed me.
The first lesson of sales is not to sell to your prospects and clients. Instead, listen to what they really need, and then explain how you can help resolve those needs. Not only do they get what they need, but you will deepen the relationship.
The second lesson is regarding the follow-up email. My opinion is that this email is pretentious and attacks my business partner. The lack of professionalism – beginning with the tone of the email and ending with the poor grammar and typos – reflects poorly on the entire company and its products. If you are inclined to send an email stating you don’t agree with the outcome of the call, I recommend you take a half-hour cooling off period first. Then, draft the email and have a colleague review it. Make certain that the statements you make are fact and not emotion.
Finally, ALWAYS run spelling and grammar check. If you don’t have someone internal to proof your email, I recommend you look into www.grammarly.com as a resource.