I received a mail from a publishing sales person this week. She was proposing a deal that on the surface, looked like it could be interesting. I wanted to know more, but as my mouse hovered over the “reply” button, I was flooded with vivid, sweat-inducing memories of the last deal that I received from this same sales person…
The deal was received by email. A few times, in the space of a few days. She harped on about speaking to my manager, not willing to accept that as a PA, everything gets screened by me first, because I understand what kind of marketing opportunities my manager is looking for. She phoned at least three times that week and the next, and with each call, made me feel less and less inclined to actually take her proposal into consideration. I was preoccupied, I had major three events I was planning at the time, and her obsessing was more than overbearing.
Eventually, I relented: I scheduled an appointment and gave her an hour out of my day. The deal was ok; but it was not what we were looking for, and after a brief discussion with my manager later that week, the deal was declined.
So, as I read the new proposal, remembering the last one, instead of clicking ‘reply’, I quickly clicked ‘delete’.
Quite simple: she was too desperate, too pushy, and didn’t respect my space or time. She undermined me. She wasted my time. She made feel stressed. And to echo the wonderful Maya Angelou: ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you made them feel.‘
I don’t envy any sales person; it’s not a job I could do, and in today’s marketplace, which is so LOUD with the noise of so much competition, it’s a challenge to have your proposal ‘heard’. But shouting louder than everyone else is not the way to go about being heard.
Treat your prospective clients with the respect and care that they desire, and they will shut off everything else just to hear what you have to say.