Hey, if you are reading this, it is more likely I sent it to you directly than you found it on the web.
I send this to everyone who hits me up via text, LinkedIn, email or another way to invite me to a call or pitch me a fantastic product or service.
Instead of ignoring you or sending you Spam, I wrote this to help you understand how we work and how you can join in if it works for you.
Also, I want to point out that I’m assuming you are proud of what you do and genuinely want to add value to the world.
So this post is not a snarky attempt to rip your head off.
About sales – you need to know this:
Everyone lives by selling something.
ABC – Always Be Closing
Business development is challenging, and very few people can do it well.
I know, in my career, I’ve made thousands of sales calls and sent thousands of emails over the years.
Years ago, I worked in a cold calling company; what a laugh!
We got excellent Sandler sales training on how to seek out pain, money and decision, and I fucking LOVED it!
You can listen to it all in this audiobook.
The late founder David Sandler is hilarious!
His workshop delivery is on par with a straight-talking stand-up comedian you’d find in New York in the 1970s.
You’ll laugh hard, but it’s also full of excellent training for sales and the necessary self-discipline for life.
I did this training a decade ago, and I still use it today.
My best sales calls
All my best sales calls came from looking the person up on LinkedIn and knowing who they were and where they’d been.
I’d always be able to include something personal like – “I see you like ‘Trek Mountain bikes and Argentine food.”
I’d be honest with them about looking them up before I called them, and most people were amazed I’d bothered.
The few seconds of research gave me even better information to get something further booked, and I got very fucking fast at looking people up online.
But the fact you did not look me up is not why I’m not buying your fantastic product or service today.
Did you email me?
Maybe you are reading this because you sent me an IN-Mail or whatever they are called via LinkedIn.
Or perhaps you have got my email address from somewhere and emailed me cold.
Often I get an email or LinkedIn message that goes right in with something like:
The follow-up email
That first email is not offensive, but it does not make sense.
It could be to anyone for anything.
As tempting as it is to explode into snarky email takedown, I’ll resist because next is the follow-up email!
Follow up anything is the most underused business tool ever.
I always send follow up emails, nudges, DM’s and anything I can – without being a dick about it.
So many good things happen to me because I send highly personalised and direct messages to people, and I’ve been using Nimble CRM since its early days to help me.
I’ve used Rebump for years and combined it with Nimble. I’ve done great things, so I know how good you can get with follow up emails.
We also have used HubSpot for our company, and I’ve saved time and made money by using this follow up tech.
Some people use this software for good, and others are just fucking lazy and impersonal.
Marketers ruin everything
Over the years I’ve heard many messages from email marketing companies, industry leaders like the folks at Copyblogger, StoryBrand and Impact Plus about email and sales.
It is some form of, “you might get a result in the short term, but how many other people have you pissed off to get that result?”
Short term gain does not build long term trust.
I like the way people refer to this as a Scorched earth marketing policy; it does not matter what you take out, so long as you get a result.
So when software arrived where you could hit up hundreds of people and be ‘efficient’ in contacting them and hope that a few would turn into leads, it seems like a no brainer!
Marketers, like me, ruin everything.
We ruined TV, email, social media, YouTube, SMS, WhatsApp and now we’ve ruined the follow-up email.
So then there is the follow-up email that goes something like:
I’m checking to see if you had a chance to read my last email.
We’re a design studio helping businesses with all of their design requirements slightly differently.
I’d be happy to schedule a call to discuss your design requirements pick a time here.
Hey, look this will at least get a few people to do something.
But your follow up emails are not why I’m not buying your fantastic product or service today.
The speed of trust
So this next bit might sound a bit more virtuous than you have the headspace for.
But being able to look someone in the eye, say hire this person, and if they are crap, I’ll pay their fee is high trust, I do this a lot.
Sometimes someone in our company comes back and has to tell me the person I recommended was shit, but often this is because I’ve miscommunicated the engagement.
And of course, I know people who are wandering around who I have burned, don’t trust me, and I’ve dumped on.
I’m a human, and I am always learning.
I always seek to clear up any mess I make.
In 2008 I read The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M R Covey – you can get it here.
The core message in the book is “When trust is high, speed is high, and the cost is low”, or said another way, when people trust you, things move fast for everyone.
You don’t need to do the bullshit business dance like two peacocks mating, you can get on with it.
To be clear, no offence to peacocks; you are beautiful.
Cold emails don’t build trust
I know you get results from emails, we’ve had results in our company from hitting people up on LinkedIn in a very B2B way, but I question the depth of trust built in this way.
It gets the job done and generates short term wins.
But life and business are about relationships, and my deep gut feeling in 2022 is what works in the world now is even more relationships.
Here at Velvet Community, we’re big on trust.
We work with communities and Anti Money Laundering technology, Know Your Customer and Blockchain technology.
So we have very meta conversations about earned trust, relationships and people need to pass an AMY/KYC check before we do anything with them.
But the fact you have not done an AML/KYC check is not why I’m not buying your fantastic product or service today.
The Honest Economy
How Transparency Can Change the Economy and Inspire a New World
In this moving talk, Marcus Sheridan shows how massive companies like McDonald’s and CarMax are destroying negative stigmas and inspiring a new way of doing businesses—all where “secret sauce” doesn’t exist—simply by embracing transparency as we’ve never seen it before.
The TEDtalk is from 2014, and Marcus has kept growing both his Riverpools Swimming Pool Company and Impact Plus, the marketing and sales agency he is an active partner.
Trust, openness and transparency are always core driving features in everything he and his teammates have built.
About those other sales people
I’ve worked with more than one salesperson who would sell their grandmother to close the sale.
They’d go along with anything you said, however politically harmful, if they thought you’d even think about buying something from them.
These people may look good on a spreadsheet, but how they are contributing to company culture is something I would question.
But this is not why I’m not buying your fantastic product or service today.
We have a ten person strong comms team that covers everything from PR to website comms, we work together every day, when we need something else we call on a handful of trusted freelancers, including UrbanMBA alumni.
Within our family of companies are over fifty fin-tech, financial, legal and accounting specialists AND we build all our own tech in house.
How we meet people other we trust and work with
So the MAIN reason we won’t buy your product or service is this.
We know a lot of people.
Everyone we’ve ever hired for at least the last fifteen years has come from our network, we have been in around the coworking industry for well over a decade.
We’ve been members of coworking spaces and we run coworking spaces, we just get to meet a lot of people without even trying.
A 2015 Freelancers Union report found that 81% of freelancers who are members of a coworking space get all their referrals from the people sitting near them.
This is how we find people when I was a freelancer I’d get hired for all sorts of things because I was there in the room!
Our community of earned trust – our network of networks
As well as being in the coworking ecosystem we are active in a whole load of communities that are all interlinked.
- European Freelancers Week
- European Coworking Assembly
- London Coworking Assembly
- Coworking I.D.E.A. Project
- We run four big groups on meet up.com
- App Sumo “The Sauce” Community
- Connected Women
- Freelance Heroes
- Make Your Mark Online
- StoryBrand Guide Community
- The Impact Plus Community
Non-stop for five years, we’ve had a weekly call for the European Coworking Assembly, and every week this is where we ask does anyone know someone who?
Most people find who they need to hire or how to get hired by asking in the community.
When we need ANYONE from a graphic designer, videographer, programmer or website person we’ll ask here, and I’ve been in these communities for YEARS so I know who has deep knowledge and who is ‘having a go’.
No pandas please
Some people turn up to something, get what they need and fuck off, and that is fine, we are all grown-ups, and our core operating system is to help people and be there for them.
These people are like a panda who eats, shoots and leaves.
You are welcome to join in
You are welcome to join in there is no secret membership club, or invite.
Check out the websites come to a meetup or event and join in, or get in touch with me directly and ask for the best place to show up and start to be part of what happens.
The people who join in and build relationships are the ones who get real ROI – return on involvement.
Thanks for reading and I wish you well in your career.