Golden Rule of the Sales Tango

tango, sales, marketing

Less than two weeks on the job and I met a sniper. He wasn’t cold calling or chasing me down a dark alley, but he clearly forgot the golden rule of marketing in the 21st century.

I’m in the process of sourcing additional writers for our company. The net I’m casting is wide enough to get variety, but not too wide that I get lost in the sea of endless blog-writing colloquialisms. My sniper’s company met my boss through a convention, and a flyer came back to the office. We reached out, I gave some sample blog titles and asked for a few blog drafts to evaluate their content. After I read them, the content didn’t look like a good fit for us. When we politely declined this company’s services, that’s when things took a turn toward a clunky apilado style whirlwind. After a series of emails and voicemails, a proposed call with a quality manager and eventually being elevated to the vice president of sales (who also called/left a voicemail/emailed), I was worn out.  

So what could have been done differently? For one, he could’ve tangoed with me and my boss a little better—who doesn’t get swept away by a crisp email with clear directions and courteous follow-through? Instead he was stomping on our shoes with follow-up phone calls before his blog drafts had any time to be opened. But ideally, what he would’ve done is remembered this golden rule: be responsive.

Social media gives us an opportunity to court potential clients without knowing they’re being swept off their feet. And when they hint that they’re interested or give you the golden ticket (their email address and phone number), this is where anyone can shine—simply by responding. My sniper underestimated my initial interest in his services, and instead he pulled us into a tango we weren’t intending to dance just yet. When we gently said (a second time) we weren’t interested, he could’ve transitioned to the tango de salon and executed his moves at a more rhythmic and distant pace. If this had been his next move, we might’ve been open to being contacted by them again in the future. Instead, the only word that sums up this tango is: finito.