January 29, 2008

Annoying Sales & Marketing Tactics

Annoying Tactic #1: Launch a campaign without communicating it to everyone who needs to know internally.

Yes, if we told you we'd have to kill you. It's that secret! Or, just not well communicated. There's a fine line between keeping everyone in the loop and spamming everyone with constant updates. Personally, I'd rather err on the side of caution and go with the borderline spam. At least that way I never hear that dreaded phrase "Well nobody told ME that". In my opinion, the more informed the employees are, the more interested and invested they are in making the company work and grow successfully. Maybe that's just me.

Annoying Tactic #2: Contact everyone at the company you have contact info for to push a deal.

While erring to spam internally doesn't bother me, constant follow up when I have no say in a matter does. I read an interesting blog a few months ago and man does it ring true. Listen up...if I've told you that you need to talk to a certain person that's obviously not me, don't keep sending me e-mails and calling me. Despite the word "assistant" in my (former) title, I am not this person's secretary and cannot get them to call you back any faster if they are not interested or, better yet, not in the office. I've never been one to respond well to hard sales even if I was genuinely interested in the product. So back off, Salesman Steve. We'll get to you when we're good and ready.

Annoying Tactic #3: Make sure everyone you've ever met knows where you work and how they could use you.

There's a fine line between informative introductions and obnoxious introductions. If someone you meet at a show or other non-work related function asks what you do or where you work, don't be afraid to tell them. It might spark their interest and give you a wide opportunity to explain to them how great your company is without shoving it down their throat. But be careful not to be obnoxious. Princeton's WordNet search defines obnoxious as "objectionable: causing disapproval or protest". So don't leave a sour taste in people's minds about your company by announcing it off the bat when you shake hands. Yes shows are great networking opportunities, but if you go around spewing information about your company to everyone who didn't ask, they won't be likely to use you. Saturation is not always good.

Annoying Tactic #4: Miss deadlines

Missing so many deadlines that the promotion or campaign is practically a moot idea is the most annoying of all. When people get a postcard for a sale and the sale is halfway over, they tend to be ticked off about it and it really doesn't encourage them to go order right away to take advantage. I know, I've received many a sale card mid-sale and thought simply "well, that's a sale I won't be able to hit". Marketing is all about timeliness, so missing the mark is just poor form. It doesn't motivate your customers to take action and it holds back other people within your department trying to work on the same project.

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