The Wrong and the Right of Sales and Customer Service

The Wrong Way

A couple of weeks ago we had an analyst briefing with one of our clients and major analyst firm X (I'm not going to out them because they are a quality firm in the human capital space, although they need to improve their sales applicant screening). After the briefing, the analyst jumped off the line but the sales person stayed on to pitch us their services.

That was my first red flag because with the briefings we've done for clients to date, there usually isn't a salesperson on and they usually don't pitch until another call.

Not only were we pitched aggressively, the salesperson called my cell and work number a half dozen times into the evening to try to close a deal we weren't interested in from the get go (it was the end of the month). And there were multiple emails as well, even after I told the person we weren't interested.

They weren't even good deals either. In this economy with spending at anemic levels, you've got to wheel and deal and get creative.

Then just last week the salesperson called me and caught me live – and there was another analyst on the line I was being introduced to. I was bushwhacked! I told the salesperson I didn't appreciate it but was courteous to the analyst (who was someone we needed to add to our analyst database).

I did agree to talk with the salesperson a few days later, but when I was sidetracked by a client call (hug your customers – always the first priority). The analyst firm salesperson called our office and was extremely rude to one of our staff, saying there was a scheduled meeting and I had better not miss it.

That was B.S. and the end of any potential sales for that firm from me and my clients (at least until I cool off, which obviously I'm still doing).

The Right Way

I hate email these days. Every time I blink 500 of them download into my inbox and filter into other folders with the semblance of being organized.

And it's not. It's madness; I hear the voice of Dr. Hannibal Lector in every download notification – "Well, Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

Someone emailed me (how ironic) information about an email organization software plug-in for Outlook called ClearContext. I've tried out different plug-ins before that either didn't work well or I never spent enough time trying to learn how to use them correctly, but I gave this one a try.

The next day someone on Twitter wrote "I hate my email" or something like that. I replied that I found ClearContext and that it was kinda working.

Five minutes later @ClearContext responded via Twitter saying "I hope we can turn that kinda working into working great for you!" I responded with some questions and a minute later the ClearContext contact sent me four links to tutorials that were helpful.

Of course some of them referred to functionality from the paid version of the software (I'm using the free version), but it was a great upsell opportunity as well and now I may just buy it at some point.

Because it does work and they get sales and customer service.

But I still hate email.

Post by Kevin Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn)

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