Sales Follow Up: Persistent or Parasite?

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little like Dory in “Finding Nemo”—quickly darting among the coral and plankton shouting “Stop following me!” It seems that everywhere I turn there’s some sales guy on my heels trying to hunt me down.
As a marketer who works with clients in a wide variety of industries, I am guilty of downloading white papers on topics of interest. I regularly attend webinars in an attempt to learn new things and stay current on what others are doing. And I visit websites and ask for samples. Apparently, those behaviors trigger an automatic smack across the face of the dozing sales guy, who leaps into action in hot pursuit of a “lead.”

While I’m in information gathering mode, Pesky Peter has decided it’s appropriate to call me and try to set up a face-to-face meeting—all within 24-hours of my casual interaction with his brand online.

Today’s winning call came from a woman at a printing company, who was following up on an online form I had completed. I had visited the website, cruised around looking at a few case studies, and then requested a sample of the product. What I got was a call requesting a 1:1 meeting so she could bring the sample in person. I tried to get rid of her several times telling her I just wanted to see the product and, if interested, would call her for more information. But she refused to be swayed. Quite frankly, I don’t know if I’ll get the sample sent to me or not after that exchange.

Within minutes of hanging up, she called my office manager trying to find additional contacts within the creative department, so she might make an appointment with them instead of me. Being a smaller agency, it was easy to thwart that behavior.

A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.
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Comments
  • C. Makepeace

    Typically, I give companies my spam collector email address to gain access to white papers and samples. It allows me to download the whitepaper/sample, and avoid the salesdrone. I also give a fake phone contact number (e.g., 555-1212). If I am interested in the product or service, only then will I give my contact number. I never answer calls from unfamiliar phone numbers anyway, so the salesdrone must leave a voicemail message, which I decide whether to return or nor (blocked phone numbers get ignored entirely).

  • Candice Russell

    Carolyn … great article! I feel exactly the same way. I wish there was a way I could say "just browsing" like I would in a face-to-face interaction at a store. Perhaps it is the nature online conversations that allows people to act in a way that would be considered rude in person. I agree with your suggestion that Direct Mail is less intrusive. @CandiceMRussell