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How to Win in 2014

The Sales Airhead Award Goes To ...

Today I received an email from a sales rep of a marketing software company (the sender shall be nameless) that started out with: Hi Gerhard... Without introduction or statement of purpose, the rep launched into a 13 bullet point sales pitch. There was no call to action, the email ended with a link to a video. Here comes the Airhead part. The video was actually an interview I did last year with his VP of Sales.

I don't think that the company has a poor product, but this example illustrates that we can't automate content creation in sales or marketing. To assume that a customer's thought process can be governed by automated, impersonal and feature-packed emails is self defeating. I also don't want to single out the company since I believe the real culprit is the mindset of the technology industry. 

It's time for technology companies to change their sales and marketing mindset. There are two basic mindsets. One is rigid and templetized. Salespeople employed by these companies are like plough-horses that follow a straight line day after day. Then there are salespeople with a growth mindset. They are always challenging themselves and they constantly try out new ideas. These salespeople will challenge their clients to change and push the envelope. They are not afraid of creating the tension customers need to invest in a cutting edge solutions. These salespeople are the racehorses that win consistently. If you want to dig deeper, check out his terrific book Mindset - the New Psychology of Success. 


Within minutes of publishing the above post, I received a sales letter from their competition saying: 

"If you are looking for a quick way to get up and running with xxxx we put together a sweet bundle for This Week ONLY! It’s packed with a ton of stuff that will help you get started ASAP…AND it has a sweet price tag too."

This is ONLY available this week. 

If you’re interested please click here. (Link omitted) 
Warmest Regards
(The link in this email leads to a page with this simple message: "Thank You, I will contact you ASAP") 
Five minutes after clicking on this link I received a voicemail from the sales rep talking at a fast clip: "Hi my name is Xx, I am calling from xxx and it looks like you recently showed some interest in this weeks offer we have for small businesses and I wanted to reach out and talk about these things. Please give me a call at xxx "
What's wrong with these sales and marketing organizations? They claim to sell solutions but they are really automating their lowest levels of sales intelligence which prevents their prospects from dealing with them. Why can't marketing automation companies hire, train and coach sales professionals? 
Note: If you think you can top the Airhead letter below, please send it to me. Perhaps it is time to nominate companies for a Sales Airhead of the year award. 


Dear Gerhard, 

I wish we had some time on the phone today.  Information is provided below.  When you’re ready to explore further there’s a link to view and book my calendar at the bottom of this message.

xxx-xx brings all your online marketing channels together onto a single platform and automates a lot of your lead generation.  We built xxx-xx for small to medium sized marketing teams so it only take 4-5 hours to implement, no IT involvement, is VERY easy to use and highly cost effective.  You will see a major increase in lead generation and revenue very quickly as most of our customers do.  Here is what we offer:

  • Email marketing
  • Web forms – we can track web form abandonment as well to give you more leads
  • Landing pages – SEO and Social media integration
  • Website Visitor Tracking – We can tell you the names of people and Companies on your website every day in real time, converting most web traffic into leads!
  • Drip Campaigns to nurture your prospects and customers
  • Lead Scoring to generate the most qualified leads for sales
  • Dynamic List Segmentation
  • Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn integration
  • Webinar integration
  • CRM integration (, SugarCRM, MSFT Dynamics and others)
  • (Jigsaw) integration
  • Dynamic Content
  • Excellent Reporting

I included a short video about xxx-xx from our C.R.O. xxxxxx.




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Hi Gerhard - these guys should subscribe to your Sales 2.0 blog, or better yet, they should attend the conference!

I'm starting to see sales organisations, big and small, relying on automation and not making the effort to actively sell. My fear is that we are creating a new generation of reps who are simply using automation as an excuse not to pick up the phone and make a call. Inbound lead generation is fabulous, but it's only one part of a bigger plan of course. In Australia we're seeing Generation Y reps take the easy option of attempting to sell by SMS in some cases! I work with companies to help them activate the enjoyment of selling and make selling easier by clarifying the sales dialogue:


Wow, this service is brilliant. Can you let me know who they are. I want to sign up;)

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