OMG! Stop Trying to Sneaky Sell Me!
I literally just got off the phone with someone who emailed me under the pretense that they needed help teaching an AI how to write copy. Now, I am not of the opinion that AIs can do this sort of job — not yet, anyway — but I am always one to help out when I can.
So, when I got an email from this person and his partner, I was all for helping teach this AI how to love… er, write copy. Because I have a programmer in-house, I know that AIs aren’t all that bright when it comes to stuff like this, though machine learning helps them do more. I don’t know how deep this software goes, but he certainly tried to sell me on it.
I am not buying.
I’ve always believed that anyone can write, given time spent studying and inclination to work hard. This also goes for robots. If Alexa can out-write me, then she deserves the chance. My pal Zappy is learning how to read, sorta, so anything’s possible.
Reminds me, if you get a weird email from Bucket Johnson, that’s just my bot glitching again. Ignore him, he’s new.
The Approach Was the Thing
Now, I’m not normally one for smearing someone else’s… let’s say “grape jelly”… all over the internet, but this really resorted to some practices I find to be truly unethical.
Here’s the email I got originally:
“This is probably the worng (sic) email address to write to but I’ve been on your website inthecloudcopy.com and on Linkedin, but was unable to figure out the right contact person.
“I was wondering if you could help me find the colleague who is currently making product content – I would guess that’s the one doing Marketing and SEO? I am sure you know who I should be talking to.
“I am not trying to sell you anything – The reason I am asking is that my company is developing a Software that automates content production with the use of AI and I was hoping I could ask someone who deals with this every day a few question to better understand how this is done today.“
Of course I’m happy to help, but you clearly didn’t look at my site because it should be reasonably obvious that all everyone at my company does is copywriting and content creation. However, given the unusual capitalization and whatnot, I figured maybe they weren’t in the country and maybe had different expectations about how to find that information… IDK. I try to think the best of people when I can.
I responded to his email that I was happy to help train his AI and that we had a programmer/writer who might be able to provide additional insight. His partner responded:
“great to (e)meet you. Steven has told me about you and your company and I am happy to assist. Would you have time to hop on a quick call?”
This left me a bit more suspicious because it was so incredibly generic. But I let him call me. It took about three seconds to figure out that he was, in fact, trying to sell me content writing automation.
Oh, No, You Didn’t….
Actually, he did. I explained that I was calling to help the partner with his AI project. Fella B still insisted on giving me a sales pitch. I explained that we produce copy and content for clients and that it was never automated, it was all written by people.
They’re in Germany, it appears, so I was still giving the benefit of the doubt. It can be hard to sell stuff to anyone, especially to an English speaker when your first language isn’t English. No fault of his. But he kept coming at me with this same pitch.
That’s when I politely excused myself from the call and came here to OMG WHAT IS THIS at my blog and LinkedIn pals.
Three Foundational Sales Truths
This was a very bad sales call. It was basically the worst one I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience. It wasn’t because he was trying to sell me something — I get that a lot. It was how these two went about it that really has crawled into regions where the sun don’t shine and lodged there.
I was in the real estate industry for 9 ½ years, much of that doing some amount of sales along with marketing. I know how to sell stuff. Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned, but I firmly believe that regardless of your medium, there are really only a few ways to do it.
These are three truths that I cling to when I’m doing my own marketing:
- Truth always prevails. Truth is the biggest foundation there is. Although people frequently perceive experiences differently, if you stick to the truth as you believe it, at bare minimum, you’re never going to end up shooting yourself in the foot. These guys broke this very basic rule by asking me to help with their AI and then trying to sell me on the call. What did they expect to happen? I am not their demographic, and they should have been truthful and let me filter out of their email funnel.
- Show, don’t tell. I mean, this doesn’t exactly apply to my situation, but I think it’s really important to put it out there. Whatever you’ve got, make sure you show how it does whatever it’s supposed to do, not just tell me about it. I may not have the same experience, but if I can see that someone has, it sure helps.
- Generic messages address exactly no one. I get it. You’re trying to address as many people as possible with one vehicle, but it’s not going to cut it. Just like the family of five needs a four-bedroom house and the single chick and her dog would rather have a two-bedroom, different audiences have different needs. And all of us, business owners and non alike, have developed an ability to detect bullshit from a mile away when generic marketing messages are involved.
Wow, This Was Long. HERE’S A CTA!
Sorry, I didn’t mean to go on and on. It’s just clear that there are some who haven’t gotten the message yet, so I wanted to yell extra loud for the people in the back.
If you’re guilty of running homespun marketing that doesn’t really land because of one of the cardinal sins I’ve listed, or it’s just not converting like you want, drop me an email. I swear I don’t employ AIs as writers (though Bucket is my AI-like assistant). Every word you get from me is 100% human and from a group of writers with, on average, more than a decade of experience each.
Pretty cool, eh?
We can get the conversation started if you click here to drop me an email.
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