There is not a day goes by that I do not receive at least 5 -10 emails or web form contacts asking me, our agency and our clients to support an event, partner or give free consulting advice or services to an over blown promise and sales pitch.
Usually they go something like this…
We are planning an event that will bring in 10,000 attendees.
We have a new product that is going to replace Facebook.
We have no money to pay you now, but promise you will make millions if you help us for free today.
Our event will be worth your time as we will have thousands of people in attendance.
Although the above is how their email usually starts off, here is what we know to be true from these types of messages…
We have no money, no plan and are spamming web forms in hopes some fool will help us.
We don’t know how the heck we will get to 100k people in attendance, but the number sounded good and we figured it would help us get some free advice and support.
We don’t know what we are doing and need your free help.
We don’t have any money to actually develop the next social network that will replace Facebook but are trying to find an agency like yours to do it for us for free.
Stop the Selling Spam Insanity!
If you are guilty of sending these types of messages, please stop. You are hurting your brand more than helping. Although you are bragging about your “big” number of paying attendees you will have at your event, or how much you want us to believe your product is going to kill Facebook, we don’t believe your sales pitch. Why you ask? Because you are focusing on the wrong message.
Prove the Value by Proving You Care
I don’t care about your inflated numbers. What I do care about is that you care about the people you are serving. I care more about your vision, your passion, who you want to help.
Who should attend your event and why? What will it do for them to better their life or business. I don’t care how great you think your event is. It’s not what you think that matters anyway. What matters is what your ideal customer, ideal sponsor and ideal partner thinks.
If you can’t figure out immediately how you are going to differentiate far and above your competition, your numbers are meaningless.
What is the audience you are serving?
What is the value it will offer them?
What value will your event or platform offer sponsors?
Why should we consider partnering with you when you can’t even take the time to plan your own event, business or product?
Your Exaggerated Numbers = Spaghetti Thrown on a Wall
Unless you have a plan to achieve your goal, then the numbers you are touting are no better than throwing a handful of spaghetti at the wall and hoping it sticks.
If you want me to read past the first paragraph of your blabbering sales pitch, you must prove to me in paragraph one you care about more than a stupid fake number that you have no idea how it will be achieved.
You need a plan that includes both strategy and tactics of exactly how you will achieve your goals. Numbers and big goals are great. However, numbers are meaningless unless you have a plan for how you are going to achieve them.
10 Tips to Keep Your Email or Web Form Out of the “Ignore Pile”
1. Prove to me in the first paragraph that you care about more than numbers. Prove to me you care about the human beings which this so called awesome event or platform is being designed for. Do you really know your target audience? Do you know the first thing about the tens of thousands of people who you are trying to make me believe are going to buy tickets to your event or dump Facebook for your new social network?
2. Don’t start paragraph one touting how many big names are already on board. If they were already 100% on board you wouldn’t be having to spam my web form 10 times in two weeks begging me to be involved. Also, remember it is a good chance I am friends with some of the folks you are bragging about. They are a simple tweet, Facebook message, text or email away for me to confirm your words speak of truth.
3. If you are touting an amazing website or blog that we should sponsor or support, be sure your provided url works when I click. Also, I can easily get a solid ballpark on your web traffic from sites such as Alexa and many others. Although these sites are not perfect, they will definitely shoot quick holes in your story if it’s in fact exaggerated.
4. Be honest and humble. If you are just starting out and planning your event and need help, state such. Don’t oversell your program as I will see right through it. Please don’t position your need as a partnership or opportunity when in reality you want us to sell your product, resell your service or become an affiliate. This is not a partnership, it is a sales pitch. Don’t keep begging for 15 minutes of my time to talk about partnership, when what you really want to talk about is how I can help you meet your quarterly sales number.
5. Give me a reason to care. Bottom line, you should get to know me and my agency (if you want our agency involvement) before you reach out to us. Know what we do, who we are and what we like and don’t like. A quick look at our Twitter streams, blogs and Facebook pages will give you a good overview and helpful tips of how to better communicate and connect with us.
6. Don’t expect free services, please. Value my time and I will value your business and your product. Yes, I run a business and yes, my products and services cost money. When you ask me to spend 30 minutes on the phone with you my cost is time, which in my business is also money.
7. No doesn’t mean spam me another 5 times. If we respond to you stating we are not interested at this time, please don’t spam us 5 more times in the next few weeks. It doesn’t mean you should also send us the same spammy message via LinkedIn. Don’t try sending to another team member either, because we actually do communicate and will know almost immediately when you do such.
8. Be human. If you can’t seem to get out of this rut and don’t know what to do I suggest you rethink your entire strategy. Quit spamming web forms and email inboxes. Why don’t you try connecting with real human beings? Try getting to know me and others you want to connect with online. That is why it is called “social” media. It’s about building relationships, earning trust and credibility. Relationships are not built in 24 hours after you submit a web form. Take time to nurture them. Relationships take days, weeks and months, not hours.
9. If your current methods are not working, then try something different. You know how it goes… “insanity = doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” Don’t let this be you.
10. Don’t take it personal. If we tell you no, or even if we don’t reply to your spam email or web form, don’t take it personal. Don’t go hide under a bush or run away from social media. If you find yourself getting ignored and getting a lot of ”not interested” responses, then it is time to revisit #8 and #9 above.
Enough of the Exaggerated Sales Pitch, Prove Some Value!