How to sell to me

    In 2002, I was excited to get phone calls or even e-mails from anyone. My company was a start-up. It was just two guys in an office with a dog and a bunch of computer servers.

    Today it is different. Perhaps I am partly to blame. My contact information is on the Broadlook website, I’m the registration contact for hundreds of domains and I freely put all my contact information into my email signature.

    And yes, my company, Broadlook, makes software that pulls information from the Internet to empower sales and recruiting professionals. Again, I am guilty, but having my contact information is not an excuse to sell badly to me.

    Here is a secret: I love being sold to. Truly being sold to means that somebody has done their homework, looked at my needs, my company’s needs and has a solution to my pain. To save those hundreds of sales reps time, I’ve decided to (1) define the rules of engagement of how to sell to me; and (2) post them on my corporate bio.

    If you follow the rules, I promise I will respond. It may be an e-mail that only says, "No thank you or "Try me next quarter," but if you take the time, I will take the time.

    I like the transparency of establishing the rules of engagement. When I passed this idea by a few of my peers, leaders in both small and large companies, they all liked the idea of establishing the engagement rules and being transparent. My rules are not the next person’s rules; they are mine. Everyone should craft their own and make them transparent. If more people did this, selling would be so much more efficient and enjoyable, for both sides. Imagine that!

    In order to sell at a high level, you need more than an e-mail address. Perhaps having Broadlook’s lead generation tools at my disposal for the last seven years has spoiled me.  When I reach out to someone, I know something about them, and I always personalize my message.

    I titled this blog verbosely so people looking to sell to me would find it. SEO stuff. We’ll see where it lands…

    Rules to sell to Donato Diorio
    1. Get my name right. I can see how people mistake my first name for a last name, but it’s not brain surgery. It shows respect.
    2. Personalize. I will not respond to a mass e-mails. Period.
    3. Understand what my company (Broadlook) does. Can you believe that there is some idiot out there that keeps trying to sell me a list of recruiting firms? Talk about selling ice to an Eskimo.
    4. Show me that I am special. Customize your sales pitch for my company. Don’t use generalities. Research what my company does and ask me good questions. I don’t have a burning need to seek others approval, but if you take the time to tell me.
    5. Call and email. You will probably get voice mail, but I will listen to it. The e-mail will give me your contact information if I like what I hear. Tell me you will also be sending me an e-mail. Be articulate, gosh, I’m sorry, but if your accent is so heavy that I have to listen to your voice mail a few times to understand it, it will get deleted at the very beginning.
    6. In your voice mail, say your phone number two times. Give me a chance to write it down if I like what I hear.
    7. Don’t use a voice mail script. If you do, you are not at the level yet to successfully sell to me. Try again next year.
    8. Don’t use a negative sell,  i.e. the economy is bad, and you can help. Bad for whom? Do your homework.  I’m an optimist.  I love hanging up on pessimists.  Realists welcome.
    9. Know your product inside out. If you can’t answer nearly all my questions, you should not be reaching out to me. Have you manager or top sales rep do it.
    10. Don’t call me if someone else at my company makes the decision.  I don’t make the decisions on office supplies.
    11. Did I mention … get my name right?

    Here is the e-mail that put me over the top to write this blog. It was nth in a series, polite but impersonal.  I will not be working with this company.

    Dear Danato,  (got my name wrong)
    Hope you are doing fine.   (does he really?)     (the DELETE button was pressed when my eyes hit this line)
    This is with reference to my previous mail dated 4th March 2009. (reminding me of his spam) I hope you have received it. I eagerly await your reply as I look forward to exploring a potential business opportunity with your company , which I am sure would prove to be mutually beneficial.  (he has no clue what Broadlook does)
    Please let me know your interest and your availability for a short introductory call at a time that would best suit your schedule.  During the call, I would primarily like to introduce XXXXXXXXX, our services, capabilities and address any specific queries that you may have.
    Eagerly awaiting your reply.  (and 50,000 others he spammed)
    Thanks and best regards,

    Donato Diorio is the chief executive officer of Pewaukee-based Broadlook Technologies Inc.

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