She asked in the Email subject line if I were OK. She didn’t care about my well-being though. It didn’t take a genius to figure that out.
The Email was the third in a series of messages I received from a sales rep at a marketing firm pushing content development services. She offered to save my consultancy “serious time” when it comes to writing high quality blog posts.
Of course, much of Strategic Communications Group’s (Strategic) work is in thought leadership content creation — for a client’s Web site or blog, or for one of our online buyer communities. We are not a viable prospect for this vendor. A quick review of our corporate Web would have proven that out.
In her Email pitch, the sender then made an unexpected shift in strategy from empathy to humor.
“I’m going to assume that you’re not dead or kidnapped,” she wrote. Are you in prison? If you are in jail, don’t worry – I’ll post bail for you. Just let know the best way to connect so I know where to send the money.”
OK…I get it…an attempt to be funny. To make jest of the fact I have yet to respond to one of these template pitches. However, as someone who has performed stand-up comedy for nearly a decade (seriously!) I am well versed in the three tenets of humor:
- Be relevant to the audience’s interests
- Be timely
- Be responsive to reaction and feedback
To meet these standards, it helps to actually know something the person. And this, my friend, is ultimately why most sales outreach with little, if any, diligence is so darn ineffective. When we don’t know the prospect or customer, there is simply no way to credibly connect with them.