Why disguise sales letters and advertisements?

Do you get emails from salespeople that start with, “I just wanted” followed by any sort of information about an offering that is nothing less than an advertisement? I get them all the time, often from recruiters and other sales professionals who ought to know better. I have to ask: why disguise sales letters?

A common example of this is, “I just wanted to tell you about an outstanding deal we have… blah, blah, blah,” or “Hey, how’s it going? I’m just reaching out because I wanted you to know I have an outstanding candidate…”

Sending it in disguise of a friendly hello is underhanded. “I just wanted” is that person presenting an offer. The statement completely disregards your time and desires.

It’s like dropping themselves to the level of Las Vegas street corner pushers, who thrust pamphlets for casinos and strip clubs in every passerby’s hands whether they want it or not. They’re not even looking you in the eyes or listening to anything you say. Their eyes are looking only for your hands, their sole target. It’s all about what they want, reducing you to nothing more than an anonymous body.

Can you imagine salespeople concerned and paying attention to real needs?

It seems as though sales people are no longer reading Zigler or Gitomer. It’s as if they’ve never heard of Permission Marketing. Or they just aren’t reading at all.

It’s true that advertising is now more entrenched in people’s daily lives than it ever has been before. Facebook and Google advertise to us all day every day. Twitter too. And why wouldn’t they? They are media channels, earning revenue from advertising.

We have chosen to let these channels in. But we didn’t teach salespeople to be rude. They taught that to themselves. They developed bad habits all on their own.

Every single one of these sales or advert emails get the instant delete. The more the person sends them, the less likely I will ever buy from them. Tell it straight, however, and I am much more likely to keep their info.

How about getting back to a traditional sales cycle that doesn’t bleed desperation? Good old calls and one-to-one meetings are valuable uses of time. Forcing a prospect to click the delete or spam button on another sales email disguised as a friendly hello is not.

Where is the benefit in disguising a sales letter as a hello?

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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