In the immortal words of John Cleese "And now for something completely different." Please note that this post is intended to be funny. As a geek with a sort of geek sense of humor I have to say that up front or some folks may miss it. The Muse does not typically castigate sales people over the phone unless they are calling from a NY boiler room (the stock kind - I actually have an affinity for maintenance people). I'm generally nice with the goal of getting off the phone as quickly as possible. But I suppose some of these things are bubbling along inside of me all the same. If this gives you a laugh then I'm pleased, but I am not setting out to offend anyone. If you are trying to make a living calling folks to sell them something you might want to stop here unless you have a thick skin. I know you are just trying to make a living and I wish you success (but don't call me... please don't call me!!). And now....
Ok I admit it. The Muse really has a terrible attitude toward sales and marketing people. It's strange I know. One of my best friends is my own director of sales Curt Lovegren, who is an extraordinary salesman and a great human being. But he never tries to sell me anything so he gets a pass. This attitude about marketing is almost a phobia with me. If I sense even a hint of a "pitch" I assume the worse and automatically disbelieve the speaker. In my heart I suppose I'm convinced that if everyone was a skeptic, then marketing would progress to something more like good information instead of hype. I think I would like commercials if they were like the ones from that Ricky Gervais movie - "The Invention of Lying". I vaguely remember the Coke Ad. "I'm bob the spokesman for Coke. We changed the can and added a Polar bear for the kids, but the ingredients are the same. Please don't stop buying Coke. Thank you." Now that's an ad I can live with. I don't think anyone has ever sold me anything over the phone, but plenty of people have made me vow to never buy their product over the phone.
I wonder how many other folks feel this way? The last time I bought a car I was ready to buy one brand of vehicle but the salesman kept responding to all of my questions (yes - via email to eliminate time in the showroom) by constantly touting the virtues of the car I was interested in. I had asked him to limit his information to specific answers to my questions. "I'm perfectly capable of researching the vehicle without your help," I told him, "I just want to know about certain options - that' it." Still, every answer included a new pitch. I gave him 3 chances and finally told him I would be buying the other brand solely due to the responses of his emails. So I guess I'm driving my second choice of vehicle due to this internal struggle of mine.
To all those lovely people out there who have a pitch and want to sell something to me. Avoid the pitch. Start by letting me know you are selling something and what it is. Don't talk to me about opportunities, partnerships, synergy, collaboration or any other pitchy buzz-word. And here are some other Muse-approved tips.
Finally, let me just say in the interest of fairness that there is one marketing approach that works for me. You must have a product that I am already looking for and everything I need to know should be available online without the need to interact with you. If I have a question I will likely reach out via email or possibly online chat. Respond to the question I actually ask without a talking point or launching a pitch. The more precise you are the more likely I will buy. The more pitchy you are the more likely I will be mixing cool-aid in the break room.
Wow... I don't usually do ranting, but I'm really tired of being inundated with marketing messages all day. Maybe watching the super bowl commercials brought out the worst in me. For all of my devoted readers who are scratching their heads wondering where the useful ColdFusion stuff is, let me assure you I have a 3 part series on web sockets and a socket gateway that I'm building. It's just around the corner so stay tuned. Now I shall turn back to the better angels of my nature.