Sometimes it seems the only people who read my blog articles or LinkedIn posts are sales professionals. Within hours of publishing my thoughts on pretty much any professional issue, my inbox is greeted by a sales rep for a company in that space. The pitches all adhere to a similar structure: I found your post on [vaguely accurate characterization] to be [generic compliment]. We sell software that [achieves marginally related value proposition]. Let’s talk. Does [arbitrary date] at [false precision time] work?
Although I applaud the attempt at personalized outreach, the formulaic structure and horoscope-specific observations leave me feeling like this is all just less scalable spam. So, I instantly archive. That is until a sales development rep who we’ll call “Ted” wrote a few weeks back.
Ted wrote specifically about a blog article I published titled “The *Annotated* Case for Account-based Marketing.” But, unlike most reps, he didn’t pitch me immediately after the post went live. His pitch came months later, suggesting he found it when doing research on me. No sales software alerted him to my article’s sudden appearance. He found it using good ol’ fashioned search bars. Points for effort.
Then there was the pitch itself. He didn’t shoehorn his product into the topic of my post like his counterparts. Instead he adapted his typical pitch (“You clearly are well past the education stage that I find most Mid-Market prospects to be in“) to apply to a specific claim I made in my post: “You write about the need to be equally as good at building pipeline (supporting sales development reps), like me, and increasing close rates (supporting account executives)“; with a credible product tie-in: “A new tool I immediately thought of with the paradox between building pipeline and increasing close rates, is our …“
I immediately forwarded his email our head of sales and HR: This is such a perfect pitch. Let’s offer him a job. We move fast at InsightSquared. Approval came almost immediately, so I shot off the below note to Ted.
“Hi Ted. Your email is consistent with everything we’re trying to do internally — it’s personalized, tied to your product (without being excessively salesy). Pitch perfect. I’d like to offer you a job on our inside sales team. If you are interested, I’ll have sales leadership and HR draw up the paperwork. I’m 100 percent serious. Yours, Joe”
The next day I received a gracious reply. Ted, as it turned out, joined his current employer because it encouraged him to prospect in this thoughtful manner after being urged to spam aggressively in his previous job. He’d even spammed us in the past. Only six months into his role, he admirably decided to stay put.
We connected on LinkedIn. I vowed to persist in recruiting him, and offered my guidance should he ever consider shifting to a career in marketing. To his credit, he tried to steer the discussion back to selling me. We’ll schedule a demo when I have visibility into 2018 budget. He’s hoping he gets the deal; I’m hoping I get the hire.
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