We’ve all been there. You’re trying to buy a new car, pair of shoes, or even a blueberry muffin, and the salesperson just won’t leave you alone. This type of pushy behavior can totally alienate you as a shopper and make you walk out the door before you can spend any money.
Sadly, pushy sales tactics like this happen all the time. In fact, Quality Logo Products® experienced this firsthand when we received an obnoxious amount of phone calls from a company trying to sell their SEO service. This company called a record 50 times in just two months, which is close to 4 calls a week! Two words… “no” and “thanks.”
Read on for the full story and other examples of how far is too far when it comes to making a sale. You’ll learn a little more about tactics you definitely shouldn’t use.
#1: Calling Over and Over and Over Again
Let’s kick off this list with the muse for this article – the phone calls from BrightEdge. The SEO company began calling the marketing team in 2018, and they just never stopped.
Take a look at this call log. It shows just how many times BrightEdge called the QLP office in 2020:
A few things to note about this call log:
- The marketing team answered the first call in early April and told BrightEdge we weren’t interested. However, that didn’t stop them from calling back throughout May, June, and July.
- BrightEdge called a record 3 times in one day on April 27, 2020. Note the times. You’ll see they called once and then called again 1 minute later. When there was still no answer, they called again 5 minutes later!
- July 8, 2020 was another day with 3 phone calls. This time they spread the calls out a little bit further, but it was still excessive.
- Every single call looked like it was coming from a QLP phone number, even though it was BrightEdge on the line. 630-896-1627 is our internal phone number, not BrightEdge’s!
After over 50 calls total, the marketing team was forced to redirect BrightEdge to a prank call line instead. Remarkably, that didn’t even stop them. They tried to call again, only this time spoofing their phone number to make it look like it was an internal phone call. They seriously went as far as to change their phone number and make the call look like it was coming from a fellow QLP employee. Dude – we don’t want your SEO service!
BrightEdge is like that date you tried to ghost who keeps texting you asking for another dinner and movie. They’re needy and desperate and you’re just not that into them. The excessive phone calls are nothing but an interruption to the workday and make BrightEdge more of a nuisance than anything else.
#2: Clogging Up the Inbox
BrightEdge is back at it again. In addition to unanswered phone calls, they also sent a barrage of emails. These emails were not only annoying to receive, but they also had a defensive tone. It was almost as if they were trying to guilt our team into responding.
Take a look!
It isn’t our fault you put time into putting the account together.
Nobody wanted it in the first place!
Their phone call was ignored, so BrightEdge followed up with an email.
Why do they need to hear from us every month?
Notice the use of “are you still interested?” We were never interested in the first place.
It makes it seem like they’re not actually listening to us.
Thank goodness for the spam folder! The average office employee receives 121 emails per day, so you don’t want to bother them with even more to sift through. Take a hint – if the lead is flat out ignoring you, they’re not worth pursuing any further.
#3: Bullying Into Buying
You could argue that BrightEdge’s emails bordered on bullying. “I did spend a decent amount of time creating your custom account.” Does that mean we owe you something in return?
Alarmingly, many companies use this strategy when it comes to making sales. Sure, 80% of sales require five or more follow-ups, but you don’t want to take on an aggressive or bullying tone when doing it.
Remember, there’s a big difference between high pressure sales tactics and bullying into buying. Your customers have a choice as to whether or not they shop with you, so don’t model your strategy after BrightEdge’s.
“Unfortunately, many salespeople have been trained that they can bully the customer into the close. Most customers will find this insulating and get turned off immediately.”
– Heather R. Morgan, journalist for Forbes.
#4: Talking Over Your Customers
Here’s another one that BrightEdge was guilty of as charged. When the QLP team member tried to say, “No thanks I’m not interested,” they were interrupted on the phone by the rep on the other end.
90% of people are poor listeners, and if you work in sales, you don’t want to be one of them. Don’t talk over your customers and listen to what they have to say.
Of course, it’s not just BrightEdge that’s guilty of being pushy with their marketing. Let’s take a look at a few other examples.
#5: Mailing Deceptive Letters
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been an extremely sensitive time for us all, and everyone got hit in unexpected ways. That didn’t stop an auto dealership in Illinois from sending out a totally tone-deaf mailer labelled “COVID-19 Stimulus Assistance” in an effort to get opens.
This one is arguably worse than BrightEdge. It gave people hope that they were getting financial assistance, only for them to instead see an ad for Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps. The pandemic is a touchy subject and using it for financial gain is just morally wrong and cold-hearted.
#6: Sending Early or Late Emails
Even big brands slip up every now and then with their marketing strategy. Need an example? Look no further than this Jimmy John’s email, which was sent out in mid-July. It has a super interesting subject line.
While the subject line “u up?” is pretty funny, Who actually wants a 10 PM booty call from a sandwich shop? It’s kind of creepy to get this kind of marketing email, even if they had the right intentions.
Plus, research shows that 53% of emails are opened during the workday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. An email that’s way earlier or later than this time window can make your company seem desperate and a little invasive.
#7: Showing Up at Their Door
Some companies are so bold as to actually knock on your door to try and make a sale. Magazine subscriptions, kitchenware, political campaigns, religions, cable services… these are a few examples of industries that rely on door-to-door services.
We all have a right to our privacy. Soliciting is a touchy subject, and you need some kind of permit to sell door-to-door, anyway. Get off the lawn if you don’t have the authority to be there!
It probably goes without saying that we didn’t end up buying what BrightEdge had to offer. They were too pushy, too forward, and too annoying for us to even feign interest.
So let this be a lesson that you don’t have to bully or badger people into buying your product or service. If you have something good to offer, it will speak for itself. Rely on clever marketing strategies and have some class when it comes to your sales techniques. The rest will follow.
Sargent, I. (2020, April 13). Many People Furious After Plano Auto Dealership Sends Out Mailer Stamped, ‘COVID-19 Stimulus Assistance.’ Retrieved from, https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/04/13/many-people-furious-after-plano-auto-dealership-sends-out-mailer-stamped-covid-19-stimulus-assistance/
Morgan, H. (2018, March 28). 3 Reasons Being Aggressive in Sales is an Outdated and Harmful Tactic. Retrieved from, https://www.forbes.com/sites/heathermorgan/2018/03/28/3-reasons-being-aggressive-in-sales-is-an-outdated-and-harmful-tactic/#69863f465462
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CoSchedule Blog. What 14 Studies Say About the Best Time to Send Email. Retrieved from, https://coschedule.com/blog/best-time-to-send-email
Ye, L. 15 Bad Habits That Make Salespeople Seem Pushy (And How to Correct Them). Retrieved from, https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/habits-that-make-salespeople-seem-pushy
Pundir, R. 90% of People Are Poor Listeners. Are You the Remaining 10%? Retrieved from, https://www.lifehack.org/597203/90-of-people-are-poor-listeners-are-you-the-remaining-10