I read Carole Mahoney’s great article called Discounts must die, and thought of a recent experience of my own.
I got the following email a few weeks ago. I get a lot of bad sales emails but this one really left me dumbfounded. I won’t shame the offender, but let’s just say this is probably the largest SaaS company in the world.
I hope you are off to a great 2017! The reason for my outreach is to reconnect about your previous interest in marketing automation. Additionally, January is BigCo’s year-end. This month is the most opportune time to take advantage of some incredible incentives and promotions not otherwise available.
If this interests you please let me know and we can setup time to put together a project plan that works for you and your team.
What are you really telling me? It appears that every one of your customers that chooses to do business with you February through December is overpaying. But it’s worse than this. Because I haven’t talked to these people in over a year. It’s not as if they have reconnected, talked to me about how the past year has gone, what’s worked, what hasn’t, if my boss has changed, if we’ve hired, if we hit our goals, if we took VC money, nada. The assumption was made that price was my only criteria. Obviously they never read this article.
This might as well be cold. And the lead is price?
My advice? Don’t do that. Don’t discount. And if you do, get something in return before agreeing. Multi-year terms. Up front cash on multiple years. Something. Definitely, don’t do it over email. I don’t feel special at all. Had this person called me with this, “hey, I really want to earn your business, I got special approval from our VP of sales to do this.” Then I might actually believe it. Might. What I do know is this, should I ever decide to do anything with this company; I will wait until the end of the year.
Now, let’s not JUST criticize. How could this person have handled it differently? Well for starters, try starting a conversation with me before starting a sales conversation.
I came across this old exchange from last year. (Forward the last email you’ve got from me) Looks like there was some conversation and then things stopped. Any idea what happened?
I send emails like that all the time. And I get responses. It’s short and sweet. It doesn’t contain a lot of flowery language like salutations and “i hope you are having a good week.” Look, you probably don’t care if I am having a good week so don’t pretend. I’m not selling anything, just trying to start the conversation again. Had I received this email, I might have replied with what happened, why we stopped talking. Now the door is opened to re-engage. “Any of those issues we discussed still going on?” Or even better, just get the response and then pick up the phone!
Try the above approach on a couple of your stalled deals and let me know what happens.