Leading an E Business team for as long as I have, you get the opportunity to connect with a lot of nice people at some great organizations. At times you even follow your connections to new organizations if they move on to another company. But for every great connection there are probably 20 that simply don’t make the cut. That’s up from ten five years ago, and 3 ten years ago. Sense a trend? I do.
We are all in our positions to earn a living. For sales people, that equates to making the deal. Getting a signature on the SOW, the IO, the Agreement…whatever needs to be signed. But there used to be more defined steps to getting that signature. Little things like trying to create a relationship, having a basic understanding about the business they are presenting to and having a feel for timing all used to be a bigger part of the process. Yet, as I’m sure I’m not alone in believing, they are not any longer.
Something I’ve noticed since the beginning of 2012 is a twist to the ‘cold call’ email. I’m sure we all get those emails – you know the ones that come out of the blue. Something to the effect of “Hi Mike, I feel you and your organization could benefit by partnering with us…” Then they state how they are different than the thousands of others doing pretty much the same thing. They want 10 to 15 minutes to chat. They want to understand the company’s priorities. But here is the twist – when you don’t respond, they forward you back their first email and ask why you didn’t respond. That seems to be the new 2012 strategy.
But what happened to me recently really takes the cake. I make it a point to attend the Retail Executive Summit every year because of the fresh content provided. Unfortunately, this year I had to miss all but the last day of the conference because of some issues at work. During the last day of the conference I talked to exactly one person, and I am quite aware of what company they were from. Since then, howevver, I have received multiple calls from vendors saying how nice it was to talk to me at the conference. I’m glad I made such a nice impression on these vendors – especially since I never have talked to them.