It's not uncommon for me to receive emails, phone calls or inquiries via social media, asking if I am interested in working with a company, product or service.
Unless the message is canned spam, I usually don't have a problem receiving this messages. More often than not, I am not interested and just delete them.
The worst ones are those where someone is looking for me to promote their product or service, and they begin by telling me how much money I will make doing so. There is no attempt to ask me what my needs are, only the attempt to use me for whatever perceived benefit they think they could receive by associating with me.
I recently received a solicitation that came in a form so egregious that I thought I would share it with you.
It began with an email I received from Derald Andrews with a company called Smaato.com.
I read this and thought "Do I know this person? He says 'we' are having trouble connecting. And apparently, it is imperative that I return his call by the coming Friday.
I have signed up with a few app advertising services. Why doesn't this one ring a bell?" I didn't recall ever hearing of Smaato, nor inquiring as to how I could make money placing their ads in my iPhone application.
I replied with "Hello, do I know you?"
Today I received another email from Mr. Andrews.
I've got a dedicated account manager and a dashboard awaiting me? I really don't recall asking for either.
I replied asking Derald a simple question. "Are we currently using your services?"
My suspicions were confirmed. This was an assumptive sales call. Massive turn-off.
"We" weren't having any trouble connecting. "He" was having a hard time getting to me so "he" could sell me on his service.
I replied and told him that I wouldn't work with his company under any circumstances. Approaching me as though we already have a relationship is deceptive and a poor way to attempt to begin a relationship of any kind. Assuming I would want to have a telephone conversation (even if I WAS interested in the service) devalues my time. Asking that I get back in touch by a certain day is just downright insulting.
Soon after, I received a follow up email from Matt White, the Manager of Marketing at Smaato. He says...
Notice that Matt takes no ownership of the tricky tactic his company used to attempt to recruit me. Taking responsibility (or inability to do so) is the sign of an untrustworthy person. I wrote back...
And, one more reply from Matt just so he could make sure I understood that their tactics are successful. It must be my loss for not working with them.
Just because you are successful at accomplishing a goal using a certain tactic doesn't mean you have done so ethically or responsibly. Perhaps Smaato is the largest platform of their kind. Who knows? And at this point, who cares? I hope they are rolling in dough. Unfortunately, they aren't rolling in character. In the end, that's all that matters.
I'm not commenting on Smaato's service. I have no idea how their platform works or how valuable it may be. The way they contacted me and continued to interact with me left a bad taste. In my opinion, a company with an excellent product doesn't need to resort to these kind of tactics to acquire new clients.
It seems to me that the entire conversation would have been different if Mr. Andrews had approached me like this...
My name is Derald Andrews and I am with Smaato, a unique advertising platform for iPhone applications. We are able to fill all your unused ad space from a variety of advertisers and can help you easily integrate into your existing applications. If you are interested in receiving 100% revenue share for the first 30 days, please reply at your convenience. I would be happy to set up a phone call and walk you through our dashboard and demonstrate how implementation of our platform can increase your bottom line.
What's wrong with just being direct? It may be semantics to some, but I take my partnerships and affiliations very seriously. This makes for a simple example for how NOT to acquire new clients.
Have you had any experiences like this? How have you handled them? How would you have handled this one? Leave your comments below!