My job means I get a lot of cold sales calls/emails from various shops. Most of them are for development on the cheap, others are for services/hardware/etc.
While I appreciate that salespeople have a job to do – we wouldn’t have a company without feet on the street – the asks are usually crushingly bad. The pitches appeal to fear or ignorance (“we can bring you Web 2.0” – Chris Pirillo strung out a similar consultant), the person selling can’t state their value clearly, they don’t understand that we’re a technology company (since they’ve done no research for their phone or email spam) or they just assume I’m a technology idiot. (Perhaps that’s a successful strategy with CTOs/CIOs/VP Engs/etc. in other companies, but I have to hope it’s not.)
So here I’m calling them out on the Selling IT Wall of Shame. Your sales pitch is a recruiting pitch – make it good, know your audience, make it smart. I’m hoping this can help improve my cold calls and emails, but mostly it’s just fun. (Selling IT is a play on the Consumer Reports page “Selling It” backpage, my favorite part of the mag, weirdly unrepresented online but available from Google Books.)
Here’s some excerpts from the first Selling IT Wall of Shame entry, from folks who manage 401Ks, and now, evidently, offshore development teams. This one is just mostly badly written – why would I consider a business relationship?
The message came across as plain text, but I’ve made it readable for you. I’m that kind of guy. I’ve removed some content (noted in <>) but left all other formatting as-is, and added some commentary in blue italics, trying to keep the snark to a minimum.
The next Wall of Shame entry features audio – and the future!
I represent The “Global Services Group” of Fidelity National Information Services(NYSE:FIS). (First sentence in – we don’t know each other, your grammar isn’t right, and your “group is in quotes. Not a good sign.)
This letter is a reference to getting an introductory meeting for us to determine if there is an area we can work together and scope possible opportunities for us to service – WhitePages.com, Inc.
Our prime value proposition consists of Strategic and Operational Benefits arising out of our “Onsite/Offsite/Offshore -<Global IT/SW Outsourcing &
Support>” (This was the formatting. And the words.)
and how we can together control:
A) The “burn rate”, Lower TCO while generating a Better ROI.
B) Help save you ~ 40% on your IT/SoftWare development dollars… (Again, bad grammar, plus these two are the same thing.)
Our business unit is to be the cornerstone of FIS’ aggressive growth in business services from “Global Delivery Centers”. (Whose business unit? Our nonexistent partnership’s business unit is going to be the cornerstone of “something else in quotes”? I’ve read this a few times and still don’t know what it’s saying.)
A 30 minutes investment on your part in meeting with us (along with your
team) would allow us to mutually explore this further, I shall await your availability and confirmation.
Warm Regards, <NAME>
NOTE OUR VALUE PROPOSITION:
VALUE PROPOSITION : Complete lifecycle IT support
Software Application Development
Software Integration, Portal development and Deployment
Software Quality Assurance (SQA)
Porting, Testing and Certification
Security Aspects – Network & Apps
Software Enhancement and Maintenance
Data Integration & Business Intelligence
<Then there’s a lot of bullet points that still say nothing. You get the point.>