Keith Cowing

Keith Cowing

Product guy. Entrepreneur.
Career advisor. Read bio

The Worst Way to Sell a Product

June 12, 2010

I recently signed up for a free trial to an email marketing service to experiment with the company’s tools. I later received a phone call, on my cell phone, with an automated recording. “Hi this is Rebecca from….” They asked me to press 1 to purchase the full version of the product.

First of all, automated telephony systems are fine for handling incoming call volume before issues are routed accordingly. But if you are calling me it should not be an automated recording.

Second of all, I spent 5 seconds thinking I was actually talking to a real person and they just hadn’t shut up yet. So I was even more frustrated when I listened to her pitch before realizing that I wasn’t on the phone with a real person.

Third, marketing is an art. In the new era of marketing, the entire process is about interacting with customers, understanding them, serving them, and engaging them. The model of blasting a generic message to as many people as possible is losing steam. Great marketing campaigns identify the best targets and engage them in a way that is fun, interesting, informative, and non-invasive.

So please don’t ever call me on my cell phone with an automated recording about how I should buy your product that supposedly helps me talk to my customers. If you can’t get that right with your own customers, why should I pay you to help me with mine?

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