This is a prospect?

by TimD 16 replies
This teaches me not to judge a prospect too quickly.
The following thread is from an email campaign I ran.
290 emails to one target niche. 2 requests for removal (very civil). And this...
I'll post it in the order it came in.

Here's the first reply to my campaign:

From: Gary [mailto:gary@[his company]
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 9:35 AM
To: tim@[my company].net
Subject: RE: [company name deleted]


Tim

Normally I trash solicitation mails like this … but, something in the below attracted just a glimmer of curiosity

I have no idea what your methodology is that attracted you to my email address … but, clearly you feel OK
with spamming me for business solitication … and then you route a “standard reply” away from YOUR inbox
to a general mail inbox … Nice

From the content of your correspondence, one might construe that careful matching of data might be involved

UNLESS YOU READ CLOSELY

When you read closely, you realize that the “inferred industry association” is being used as the solicitation driver
Too Bad, that the INFERRED ASSOCIATION is completely wrong … I mean stone-axe completely wrong
Therefore, all of the solicitation language is completely wrong
All of which would render any connection with such linkages of useless value

If you read this and are at all curious, reconsider your presentation

A couple of notes:
1. My original email wasn't spam. The email was scrupulously in line with the CAN-SPAM act. In fact, the mailing got less than 1% requests for removal.
2. His curiosity, came from three things, I believe.
A. Good copy writing.
B. Relevance. I was as careful as I could be to match my message to his industry. And though I missed (my source gave me faulty info), the argument was coherent for the industry I targeted.
C. Proof. I didn't just make claims, I backed them up.

Ok, I was pushed back a bit. So I sent a fairly contrite reply I thought.

From: Tim Dawes [mailto:tim@[my company].net]
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 10:58 AM
To: gary@[his company].com
Subject: I have blocked my system from sending you any more emails


Gary,
I read your email and I’ll reconsider my process given your comments.
I’ve also blocked my system from mailing you in the future.
Thanks for taking the time to reply and giving me something to chew on.
Tim Dawes

I was sincere about reconsidering my process. I don't like to piss people off. So I am considering how I can tighten things up. Here's his surprising reply to me.

From: Gary [mailto:gary@his company.com]
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 11:06 AM
To: 'Tim Dawes'
Subject: RE: I have blocked my system from sending you any more emails


Tim

I was making no request for you to refrain from sending correspondence … use your own judgement
I am aware of most of deficiencies in our online presentation
If you have something to offer, then feel free to present it

then a critique of my email and my method.

So, I'm following up. Don't know if I'll get business or not. But he's told me in as many words that he's open to hearing my suggestions. And now we're engaging.

Take away - don't be too quick to judge. And it's worth the time to personalize. Even when you're personalizing to the wrong industry.
#offline marketing #prospect
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Nice job. Your email back saying you were done and moving on (civilly of course) was kinda like a take-away in my mind, as he shot back a follow-up email (I assume most wouldn't at this point, or would have sent something short), stating the problem he has.

    Presentation on!

    Do you phone him at this point, or continue corresponding through email?

    Drive a wedge into his pain glands and see if there's anything there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Phone the guy and discuss. Ask him what HE thinks is wrong with his presentation.
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    • Profile picture of the author sandalwood
      Seems to me Jason is 100% spot on. Call him NOW and open the dialogue. The worst that coudl happen is you waste some time on the phone.

      Good luck,

      Tom
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      • Profile picture of the author andybenson129
        I would avoid. If he is a nightmare now, just imagine when he is a client. Lot's of red flags with this guy!
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  • Profile picture of the author somacorellc
    Originally Posted by TimD View Post

    I am aware of most of deficiencies in our online presentation
    lol.

    Jackass alert. He's trying to sound smart but fails completely. I would call him up just for the entertainment value to see if he's so quick with the hoity toity vocabulary on the phone. I bet he's not.

    What he's trying to do is set the stage so you're beneath him - so that you're coming to him for advice and council - not the other way around.
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  • yeah lol I gotta agree with the above... someone as pretentious as that is going to be a headache. Not sure what to charge a client like that to even make it worth it.
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    • Profile picture of the author TimD
      Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

      Nice job. Your email back saying you were done and moving on (civilly of course) was kinda like a take-away in my mind,

      Do you phone him at this point, or continue corresponding through email?

      Drive a wedge into his pain glands and see if there's anything there.
      Thanks Rearden. I looked for his competitors and shot him an email asking him to confirm. My original email went out to electricians in my area. He runs an electrical parts manufacturer for automotive and marine applications.

      The site is really ineffective. Google can't parse it. They don't show up for any relevant searches I can find. I'm interested because he may be B2B which is an area I want to get into more now.

      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Phone the guy and discuss. Ask him what HE thinks is wrong with his presentation.

      Originally Posted by sandalwood View Post

      Seems to me Jason is 100% spot on. Call him NOW and open the dialogue. The worst that coudl happen is you waste some time on the phone.

      Good luck,

      Tom
      Thanks Jason and Tom.

      Originally Posted by andybenson129 View Post

      I would avoid. If he is a nightmare now, just imagine when he is a client. Lot's of red flags with this guy!
      Originally Posted by somacorellc View Post

      lol.

      Jackass alert. He's trying to sound smart but fails completely. I would call him up just for the entertainment value to see if he's so quick with the hoity toity vocabulary on the phone. I bet he's not.

      What he's trying to do is set the stage so you're beneath him - so that you're coming to him for advice and council - not the other way around.
      Originally Posted by Kung Fu Backlinks View Post

      yeah lol I gotta agree with the above... someone as pretentious as that is going to be a headache. Not sure what to charge a client like that to even make it worth it.
      Good points Andy and Kung Fu. He was very quick to tell me my work was sloppy (which I thought it wasn't, he just wasn't the target market). He also wanted to slip in some marketing theory. Sounds like a guy who knows his theory and is having trouble making it work for his business. Could be a red flag.
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      • Profile picture of the author TimD
        Update: called them today. Turns out Gary was going rogue. This project is on hold for them.
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        • Profile picture of the author kebertt
          Originally Posted by TimD View Post

          Update: called them today. Turns out Gary was going rogue. This project is on hold for them.
          Interesting result
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        • Profile picture of the author mojo1
          Originally Posted by TimD View Post

          Update: called them today. Turns out Gary was going rogue. This project is on hold for them.
          Wow this is interesting. Do you mind sharing what going rogue means in this situation?

          Was he the owner?
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          • Profile picture of the author TimD
            Originally Posted by mojo1 View Post

            Wow this is interesting. Do you mind sharing what going rogue means in this situation?

            Was he the owner?
            Thanks for the Q mojo. I meant that he's working out of his house (probably in sales) and doesn't have responsibility for the web project. I talked to the real owner for about 10 minutes. Summer is their busy season. Winter is the slow season. So they have no need or intention of doing web work until after Christmas.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
              Originally Posted by TimD View Post

              Thanks for the Q mojo. I meant that he's working out of his house (probably in sales) and doesn't have responsibility for the web project. I talked to the real owner for about 10 minutes. Summer is their busy season. Winter is the slow season. So they have no need or intention of doing web work until after Christmas.
              So what does the OWNER believe about their online presentation?

              If they think there are flaws with it, what do they think would happen if those were corrected?

              If summer is their busy time, why wouldn't they want such flaws corrected NOW? and get as many more customers as they can get?

              I did a rewrite for a site that gets much more than half of its business in the month before Xmas. Did this in November. The month after my content went live, they made double the amount they'd ever made in that period--and it paid back TEN TIMES what they invested...in just a month!

              Time to go back and talk to the owner, methinks...
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              • Profile picture of the author mojo1
                Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

                So what does the OWNER believe about their online presentation?

                If they think there are flaws with it, what do they think would happen if those were corrected?

                If summer is their busy time, why wouldn't they want such flaws corrected NOW? and get as many more customers as they can get?

                I did a rewrite for a site that gets much more than half of its business in the month before Xmas. Did this in November. The month after my content went live, they made double the amount they'd ever made in that period--and it paid back TEN TIMES what they invested...in just a month!

                Time to go back and talk to the owner, methinks...
                Jason your response has definitely lifted the fog from my mind on how I would now dialogue with any owner who gives this type of response.

                These are a few probing questions that now come to mind perhaps would be to: ask the owner "if they would like to be busier all year round rather than just in the summer?" or "if they'd want to target higher paying clients during their busier time of the year by focusing on tightening up their marketing and sales funnel during their slower times?"

                What are your thoughts about this line of questioning?
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  • Profile picture of the author maxrezn
    I try to steer clear of guys this witty and almost "cocky". They will throw curve ball after curve ball throughout the business relationship.
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  • Profile picture of the author MichaelHiles
    Agreed. The guy is an internet troll trying to play real life human. I'd steer clear.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    He's a d-bag as most of us thought.

    At least you followed up and disqualified him.
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