I receive calls all day from people trying to sell me leads from various online platforms and usually just brush them off or ignore their communications. Recently, I had my VA search out and contact a number of these lead vendors directly and get basic information on their services. After my VA had finished the comparative spreadsheet I went through the list and personally contacted the vendors I was interested in and set up times to meet with them. Most required me to set an appointment through a web based calendar system so I had to wait 1-5 days to actually speak to someone.
Feel my frustration already growing….
I am purposefully subjecting myself to a heap of sales pitches. I am taking up time from my day to take these calls because I am a real BUYER.
First appointment I scheduled had to be scheduled 5 days out to accommodate the vendor and the dude Slydials me a voicemail talking like I didn’t answer my phone then cancels the meeting request due to me not showing up. This does not help when you are trying to earn new business.
The next call was from a startup so I assume they had recently invested a lot of money in their infrastructure and, supposed, proprietary technology (which is total BS)and would have a well polished pitch to throw my way. I found them via an article singing the praises of how revolutionary they were in their approach. Kudos to their writer. I immediately contacted them for an appointment.
The call comes in on time, which was good, but that was where the goodness ended. First thing was that the salesperson was a very noisy breather and smacker and I use a headset with people I do webinars with so it was coming through in STEREO. Just envision the audio you would hear when you were making out with your high school sweetheart as the background of being sold over the phone. Are you uncomfortable yet? I sure as hell was….
Anyway, this particular vendor’s claims to make you the ruler of social media in your particular geographic area with their proprietary algorithm by getting you in front of the people in your farm area (neighborhoods you market) through social media. Sounds pretty cool until you figure out that their “technology” is just using the targeting built into Facebook and auto-posting generic home posts to your page.
There had to be more, so I started asking questions around what made them unique in the social media space and what did they offer that I couldn’t do on my own or for free or next to free. CRICKETS!
“Let me ask someone because I can’t answer that question,” she says. Wouldn’t that be like the number 1 thing you should know?
In my frustration I just asked her to please move on and tell me what I was getting and what it would cost and what areas were available to me. Her response was a 15 minute story about some other bloke and his business as she fumbled through papers or something on her desk, which sounded really messy. Huh??!?I got a bit heated and probably yelled my request again.
“What the hell are you selling me?”
So she starts again with the lofty nonspecific marketing mumbo jumbo that got me into this nightmare and I again had to stop her and say, “Show me what I’m getting.” I then am instructed to go to my email and look at a screenshot she has sent because her screen sharing software isn’t working. The shot is of a map and she asks me where I want to be. I give her a 4 street area which is clearly outlined as available on her map and within the boundaries that they have imposed over the map. It took 5 minutes of back and forth to help her find where I was pointing her to on her 1 square mile map.
After we figured out the area we started to discuss the details of their offer…website(s), Facebook page, automated social media posting and the PROPRIETARY geographic targeting. I ask for her to explain to me how they could do this proprietary magic. A ridiculous amount of verbal fumbling ensues including yelling questions across the room to a technical expert who basically reveals that they really have figured that out yet. Yes, they really don’t have a value proposition.
I snap. I take a deep breath and count to 10…”How much?” She responds and I tell her that I don’t think this is for me and she abruptly hangs up. No handling of the objection, no probing questions, just, CLICK.
Maybe I’m too critical because I am in sales myself, but I really don’t think so. I mess things up every now and then but I at least know my core offering and where it sits in the marketplace.
My inquiry as a whole was not all bad. I found a couple of really sharp vendors that I am going to use. They knew their product. They answered all of my questions and made me generally feel good about moving forward with them.
The other yo-yo’s got me so fired up I had to write this to get the anger out of my system so I could do some selling of my own.
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