Spare Me the Hard Sell Stranger!
March 16, 2014
'You don't know me but ....
I was exhibiting at a very popular local event last week. The hall was humming, the visitors plentiful, interested and extremely well targeted. And then one particular woman came to my stand. Bypassing the pleasantries of saying hello to me or even showing a glimmer of interest in me or the books on my stand, she began a pitch which lasted a couple of minutes (no gaps for any interruption). The services she was pitching to me I already receive from a client. When I told her this, she pressed on, undeterred, asking me if I would recommend her services to my clients anyway.
It’s safe to say I will not be recommending her to anyone, let alone precious clients.
What did she do that was so wrong?
Well, it’s never a good idea when someone has gone to the trouble of having an exhibition stand, to rock up and try and sell to them while they are manning it. But, before even considering asking a complete stranger if they will recommend you on the basis of a two minute pitch, it surely makes sense to engage in some form of charm offensive; to perhaps show an interest in their business and to ascertain that they have a need for what you are offering. Above all, it makes sense to try and identify common ground – where you can work together for mutual benefit.
I observed the woman as she walked around the event, repeating her pitch to other exhibitors only to walk away a few minutes later, clearly empty-handed but presumably still believing that this is how you do business.
I’m of the belief that you have to know, like and trust a person before you can recommend them to your clients or consider using them yourself. People have to buy people before they will consider buying products and services.
Have you been approached in this way and, if you have, what was your reaction?