When a Compliment Is Not a Compliment
My iPhone vibrated, announcing the arrival of a new email. I glanced down at the screen and read the first line:
“I’ve enjoyed your podcast for some time and I wanted to write to thank you and tell you to keep up the good work.”
A compliment! It’s rare to hear from someone who reads or listens to the content I put out there and I thought to myself, “Well, that made my day!”
Returning to my office, I opened up the full email and kept reading …
“Perhaps your readers would be interested in my upcoming book … ”
This was not a compliment. It was a solicitation. This is not the first time I received a bait-and-switch message from a Taker, someone who wants something from me but hides it behind some kind words. It was clear this author had done a search of sales-themed podcasts and I was next on his list. My instinct was to email back, “Thank you. Which episode was your favorite?” However, why engage at all?
Have you ever received a phone call from someone out of the blue and you wonder to yourself, “What does this guy want? Why is he calling? What’s he up to?” His intentions might be completely pure, but still you are suspicious. No one calls just to say hello, right?
If you are calling a friend who’s recently been promoted for the right reasons, the sincerity will come through on its own. This is not the time to ask for a favor or connections or to network. Keep it authentic.
If you are calling to congratulate and to ask for their help getting into the account, be transparent about it. Get it out there. There’s nothing wrong with asking for someone’s help and those who don’t ask won’t get.
Just make sure you don’t have a flower in one hand and a business card and the other.
Bill Farquharson is a sales trainer for the graphic arts. Email him at Bill@AspireFor.com or call (781) 934-7036. Bill’s two books, The 25 Best Print Sales Tips Ever and Who’s Making Money at Digital/Inkjet Printing…and How? as well as information on his new subscription-based website, The Sales Vault are available at BillFarquharson.com.