In these tough economic times, it is inevitable that people get creative, looking for income. Perhaps no where is that more evident than the cold calls and contacts from sales reps from technology companies. I get dozens of generic emails every day from every tech vendor imaginable, desperately wanting me to invest money I don’t have into their newest products. Generally, I ignore them. If I don’t already know about the company or have a relationship with them, chances are slim that I’ve got any extra capital lying around to spend these days. Within this economy we are primarily in a hunker-down maintenance mode.
This week I received an innovative ploy that simultaneously amused and annoyed me. The following arrived recently in my Inbox (names withheld to protect the guilty):
Considering your responsibilities for XXXX and its employee’s, the following warrants your attention.
Over the past few months there’s been a significant spike in research from your employee’s researching XXX web conferencing solutions. Overall the research relates to the advancement of their ability to communicate, either internally or with customers. Being that communications is the backbone of success with any company, as well as the rise or fall of your expenses, I felt your attention was required.
Are you available next week for the two of us to discuss the above and architect the most comprehensive and collective approach to your communication methodologies?
My first thought was “Wow, why are we researching web conferencing solutions? ” We’ve got videoconferencing equipment less than two-years old and several contracts for on-demand services. Why would we possibly be looking to expand that in the current economic climate? And thirdly, as our organization’s head geek, wouldn’t I need to approve (or at least be informed of) such research? I contacted my project management coordinator and asked him if he knew anything about this research project. His response – “no, but I bet I got the same email you did.” And there it was. The bogus email ploy had grabbed me! Check, please!
I quickly drafted a reply in kind:
Considering your desperate hopes of landing a new client through veiled and bogus emails, the following warrants your attention.
Over the past few months there’s been a significant spike in spam emails I have received from slackers such as yourself who are too lazy or perhaps too unskilled to actually attract new clients through a worthy product or dare I say…a little bit of actual effort. Overall the emails indicate deficiency in your ability to communicate, either internally or with customers. Being that communications is the backbone of success with any company, as well as the rise or fall of your revenue, I felt your attention was required.
Alas I am not available next week for the two of us to discuss the above and architect the most comprehensive and collective approach to my communication methodologies. However, since I am connected to your boss on LinkedIn and I have contacted him to tell him how utterly disgusted I am with your tactics, I would imagine that a conversation with me is not at the top of your priority list at this time.
I hope you have a great day!
Okay, no, I didn’t really send it. But I really, really wanted to! I succumbed to professionalism and opted instead to post here. Of course, for all I know, he’s actually a lurker here on the blog. If so, welcome to my world XXXX! Please stay a while and contemplate how your lost customers regard your tactics!
What about you? Anybody else out there ever fallen victim to a particularly devious sales ploy?