Some of you who have read my previous blogs will know that I like to have a bit of a rant sometimes. I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a grumpy person, but with a fair amount of research experience over the years (ultimately earning me the nickname “Robbie Research”) I do like all business matters to be conducted with an acceptable level of care and attention.
A lack of professionalism when trying to win new business is one of the cardinal sins in my book. My previous blogs on customers for life and the difference between new business and business development will give you an insight to my way of thinking.
So picture the following scenario.
Before Christmas, I get an email from a “new business agency” – and I use the term in the loosest possible sense – offering me business development services for Alchemis.
Perhaps they sent it by mistake. I’ll just ignore it and we’ll say no more about it.
But a few weeks later a follow up email arrives – they’ve tried to get in touch with me but to no avail, surely I would be interested in their business development services for my company. This time, I couldn’t let it lie. I sent a polite reply to the sender which simply said “Gemma, please have a look at our website to see what we do as a company and then decide if we are likely to need a new business agency to help us.”
Surely this would do the trick – a two second check of our website would have shown the sender that we are, in fact, a new business agency ourselves. They could put me on their do not approach list and we will all be happy. But alas, my words fell on deaf ears as a while later I received another email from the same person – albeit this time into my junk email filter as I had marked the previous one as such.
Then last week I received yet another communication. Here is an excerpt:
We aren’t about sending over a high volume of poor quality appointments, we will create highly qualified meetings to make sure you are only meeting prospects that have a genuine need for your services.
Robert we would love to come and meet with you to discus in more detail how we can help you get in front of prospects and get you on track to fulfil new business targets. If you would like to arrange a date for a brief meeting then please do not hesitate to reply to this email or call me.
A few terms jump out of me from this. “Poor quality”; “highly qualified” (not) and “genuine need for your services.”
They also claim to provide a recording of every call they make – which is great except it is illegal unless the prospect is made aware that they are being recorded (and how would you react if you received a cold call from a company you didn’t know and were told they were going to record it)?
I am the only person at Alchemis who is not actively involved in a “sales” role of some description. But even I know that the key thing to any new business approach is to know a bit about the company you’re approaching (like, for example, what they actually do), listen to what the prospect is actually saying and only then are you in a position to know whether your services will be of use.
I’m not going to name and shame the person or company who keep sending me these unqualified approaches (despite my reply advising them to check what we do first) but as Mr T would say “I pity the fool” that would take them on to help with business development if this is an example of their attention to detail.
Companies like this give the more respectable agencies a bad name. And if the company in question happens to be reading this blog, please – for the love of god – practice what you preach.