This year there seems to be a new trend that really DRIVES ME CRAZY! Apparently, the latest technique for sales people is to send an email acting like they know you. This strategy gets you reading, rather than deleting.
For example, here is one from a salesperson for a test prep company.
How are you? I hope all is well and the first half of the school year has been successful.
I am following up on an email I sent a few weeks ago. I was hoping you might have some time to connect over the next few days. I would love to learn more about your current test prep curriculum and perhaps get the chance to show you the web-based practice tools we have built for schools.
I look forward to hearing from you!
By the time I got to the second paragraph of her email it dawned on me that I had no idea who this woman was.
After all, anyone who really knows me would know that I would never be interested in purchasing test-prep materials. Of course, I wrote her back letting her know my beliefs on the matter. She thanked me for my prompt response. Whew! I think she got the message to move on to a new “friend.”
In fact, I have also gotten some cell phone calls where the salesperson begins with a friend-like intro to keep you on the line. Somehow companies have figured out a way to adjust the area code to match yours so that you think it is some familiar calling you.
My new policy is that if I don’t specifically recognize the email sender or the phone number, I won’t answer the call or respond to the message. If it truly is a friend they will call back.
In the end, those are really the only people I want to talk to anyway.