Dear sales representative who wants me to buy your company’s products,
If I’ve emailed you a link to this blog posting, it’s probably because you’ve sent me multiple unsolicited sales emails. Welcome to the club of vendors from whom I’m unlikely to ever purchase anything!
No unsolicited sales email I have ever received from a vendor has ever been welcome. Never. Not one.
Unsolicited sales emails are a scourge on the information security industry.
Here’s how I purchase information security products and services from vendors:
- Identify a need.
- Research which vendors offer products or services which meet that need.
- Contact potential vendors and start conversations with them.
- Evaluate the products, services, support, and pricing offered by the various vendors and select the one that is the best overall fit for our needs.
Notice that step 1 is, “Identify a need,” not, “Allow some vendor to convince me that there is a need which, not coincidentally, their products will address.”
Notice that step 3 is, “Contact potential vendors,” not, “Reply to unsolicited sales emails from vendors.”
This is how all competent information security professionals operate. If you know this, then I can only assume that your sales strategy is to target incompetent information security professionals. I prefer not to do business with vendors whose target demographic is incompetent people.
If I already know about your company and its products, then emailing me accomplishes nothing except to annoy me and waste my time.
If I am unable to find your company easily when I start Googling for potential vendors in step 3, then your marketing department is bad, and that’s probably reflective of the quality of your company in general, and therefore I am probably not going to want to buy anything from you.
I know I’m tilting at windmills here. The ship has sailed, the train has left the station, the horse has left the barn, etc. Unsolicited sales emails are probably here to stay, and anything I say or do is unlikely to change that. Heck, I know that even the companies I work for send unsolicited sales emails! I therefore tend to cut vendors some slack about sending me one — only one — unsolicited sales email. If you send me a second email when I didn’t respond to the first one, then the chance of my ever buying anything from your company drops precipitously.
If your first email ended up in my spam folder, then your second email is going to end up in my spam folder too, so you haven’t accomplished anything by emailing me again. You should know this.
If your first email didn’t end up in my spam folder, then I saw it and chose not to respond. If you email me again, then you’re saying that your desire to establish contact with me is more important than my desire for you not to waste my time. This does not increase my desire to do business with your company.
All of this goes double if I have purchased products from your company in a previous job. If you have a halfway decent CRM, you should already know that, so you should already know that I am aware of your company and its products and presumably will reach out when I have a need for them, which means emailing me out of the blue is an even more unjustified waste of my time. If your CRM doesn’t provide you with this information, then you’re bad at sales, and that’s probably reflective of the quality of your company in general, and therefore I am probably not going to want to buy anything from you.
All of this goes triple for phone calls.
A fairly typical information security professional with vendor decision-making authority