Sorry, did I invite you to call me on a Sunday?

Time for politeness is over. This has to be said. And you know who you are.

Fasten your seatbelts, this going to be a bumpy ride. Just because I met you at a networking event, and politely gave you my business card, doesn't mean I'm inviting you to cold call me on a Sunday afternoon to try and sell me whatever 'multi-level marketing' shit you're peddling. Unless I expressly arranged to speak to you on a Saturday, Sunday, after normal business hours or indeed before, don't call. And I'm pretty sure I can't be the only person out there who feels like this. I can only imagine what kind of response I'd get if I started calling the mobile phone numbers of people I've met at a 'do', and tried to sell them copywriting services on a Saturday night while they're in the pub with their friends. And no, I'm not remotely tempted to try it just for a laugh.

You quite spectacularly failed to identify your customer's needs, desires and 'worldview'.

I don't care what some naff 'cookie cutter' internet sales guru told you, it's not ok to piss people off. The number one thing to consider when selling anything, is the customer. Did you consider me, my life, my needs when you decided to hob-nail boot into my precious family time on a Sunday afternoon? No you didn't. The only thing you were interested in was yourself and your sales income. If you'd bothered to find out anything about me, and the thousands of people out there just like me, you would know:

  • That we work hard and that down time is precious.
  • That we care about our loved ones and that quality time with them is important.
  • We keep our promises to family and friends.
  • We don't actually care about you or your so-called health jollup/telecoms packages/cleaning stuff/overpriced kitchen stuff.
  • We have no interest in joining your 'distribution network' - we'd rather eat our own hair than become someone like...well, like you.

So top tips for going forward (and this is very basic stuff - you should know this)

  1. Think carefully about your customer what they really need from you. (Hint, a bit of peace and quiet over the weekend would be top of my list).
  2. Remember that they don't care about you or your product/service - it's up to you to present them with a reason why they should.
  3. If you meet people at networking event, and they expressed some interest in you, try following up with a nice friendly email. And ask if you can call them sometime to talk about whatever it is you're selling. And book a date and time that is convenient. If it's convenient for the customer to choose a Sunday afternoon, that's fine.
  4. Follow through with everything you said you would do - if you promised to send some web links or pdfs for them to read, make sure you do it (you'd be amazed how often people don't).
  5. Remember that customers are bombarded with choice. They'll buy when they are good and ready and not before. Pushy sales techniques went out with the ark. Intrusion and the old 'foot in door' techniques are over. You need to learn some new skills.

In my opinion, whoever said 'it's just business, it's not personal' is a liar and fool

Business is always about people, which means it's always personal. And as potential customers, we have tens of thousands of buying choices facing us every single day. This means, that if you piss me off, I'm not going to buy anything from you because I know I can get it from someone else. And yeah, it's personal. What else should it be?