How Not to Sell

The other day a salesperson gave me such a great opportunity to demonstrate how not to sell something that I couldn’t pass it up. Sorry GR (I’ll use initials to spare the person’s name).

As a recap, my day job is as the Director of Marketing for Distance Education Co., managing all marketing functions for two home-study adult ed schools. What it means, above all else, is that I’m responsible for finding and recruiting new students.

One of the largest players in the “lead generation” space for education are a variety of lead sellers who promote themselves to potential students as helpful and informational. I’ve touched on their duplicitous nature before.

So the other day my company received a “cold” email from one such company called Mom Degrees, part of the larger Degree Corps.

First, the email went to a generic email address instead of our marketing email box. That’s fine. Then, I responded telling GR that I was interested in learning more about this potential opportunity and would he like to set up a phone call.

At this point he’s gone from a cold email to the school, to the decision maker, to an invitation for a phone call. This is the best possible situation he could ask for.

He emailed me back in response that he wanted to get more information before setting up a phone call. Mistake #2 (I’m counting the generic email). In addition, the email he sent back was loaded with misspelled words and careless errors. Even the name of my company was misspelled. Mistake #3.

And still, I responded with the information he requested. I was sufficiently interested.

Next, he responded with new statistics, that contradicted the original statistics he’d given in his original email. He said that they could afford to sell us leads for our courses at a price of $$$. Unfortunately, it was just a few dollars over what I would deem “affordable” based on the cost of our courses, and I told him that.

The last response I got was, “Sorry things couldn’t work out. Hope you contact us when your ready.”

Ready to what GR?

GR’s email signature states he is the Director of Sales. It appears that Degree Corps is handing out director titles to anybody these days.

Anyone had a similar experience? Share it in the comments below, and let’s expose poor sales practices where they still exist!