Many of you know that I get a fair amount of people prospecting to me and I don’t mind it; in fact, I welcome it. It shows they’re going “to the top” in their efforts to gain B2B sales leads.

While most outreach efforts are bad and some are downright comical, some fall into a category all on their own. It’s a category I like to call “Don’t be like this guy…”

It’s not a category you want yourself, or your sales team, to fall into when going after B2B sales leads. 

Below is a real email I received two weeks ago.  

Phyllis touts her firm’s expertise in leveraging all sorts of communication channels (voice, email, social, web etc.) to generate more sales opportunities. So one might expect that her outreach efforts would be perfectly executed. Not the case at all. Here’s the email:

Good day! 

I just wanted to know if you’re looking to improve business development and marketing results for FRONTLINE Selling.

 We use an effective combination of voice, email, social, web, and mobile strategy to reach people who are interested in your business, and set up introduction meetings for you and eventually close business deals.

Do you have time to speak this week? Let me know the best time to talk and direct number to reach you.

Thanks! It would be great to hear from you.


Strike 1

Let the record show that the only communication from Phyllis was this email. In the two weeks since I received this, no call. No voicemail. No LinkedIn contact. Huh.

If she isn’t utilizing the ‘effective combination’ she is promoting in generating B2B sales leads, what kind of confidence does that instill in its effectiveness? If she won’t even use it, I’m pretty sure I won’t be investing my coveted budget dollars in that company.

Think about it. If a BMW salesman tells a prospect that he only drives Audis, that inevitably embeds a sliver of doubt in the prospect’s mind. “Would Audi be better? Is there something he knows that I don’t?”

Or if a Zoom conference salesperson conducts his first meeting with you using GotoWebinar. Wouldn’t make much sense, would it?

Let’s leave the “Do as I say, not as I do” thing to parents who stay up too late or say a bad word in front of their children.

In sales, you practice what you preach.

Strike 2

I’m not sure if Phyllis really wants to have a conversation or not. I mean, if she wanted to call me, it would’ve been pretty easy to find my number. Google search? FRONTLINE Selling’s main number?

What’s most ironic is that I just wrote a blog article on that social media platform called LinkedIn (she did say “social”…correct?) called “Here’s my cell phone number, call me.” (And incidentally, my cell number is also on my LinkedIn profile.)

Phyllis should check out this LinkedIn thing for B2B sales leads. It’s pretty cool and may just catch on some day.

Strike 3

Bad research.

Phyllis is trying to sell me on their company’s prospecting solution. And that’s exactly what WE provide our clients. We help organizations more effectively connect with their buyers through a combination of phone, email and social outreach efforts. Sorry Phyllis, but no matter how you reach out to me, I’m not buying what you’re selling.

Business development reps should do a small amount of research on every key player they contact. And don’t get me wrong – that doesn’t mean spending 30 minutes on their website, LinkedIn and Twitter digging up every detail possible. Research should be limited to about 5 minutes; just enough time to verify that they are indeed, a viable target for you. Check out their website, LinkedIn profile and even quickly review any recent posts or published articles. Any more research than that is a waste of time. But that 5 minutes is critical to ensuring you know who you’re calling.

Bottom Line

No call, no voice message, no social interaction. Nothing but an automated email with some work assignments in there. (My big pet peeve is salespeople tasking me with things to do so they can sell me something.)

If she’s selling effective prospecting technique, she simply MUST execute it flawlessly herself. In my eyes, this is an absolute prospecting fail and eroded the credibility of her organization’s product.

Please everyone. Practice what you preach to solidify your integrity.

 And if you or your team prospect to generate new business, don’t be like this gal!