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HOW TO SELL ANYTHING

Should You Use Guilt as a Sales Tactic?

As a last-ditch effort, giving a potential client the guilt-trip might work. But it also might not.
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About a year ago I met with a wonderful woman who runs a company that helps non-profit organizations with technology for running their businesses. Since my e-mail marketing company VerticalResponse, gives our service away free to nonprofits, we both agreed that our companies could and should do a deal together.

But sometimes it all comes down to timing doesn't it? If there are any resource commitments from either side it's got to be the right time for both. And unfortunately timing on our side just wasn't right. For much of the last year we've been really busy rebuilding a ton of what we offer to get it ready for a major launch, so my mindshare and almost every resource we've got has been diverted to things that support this. But the potential partner kept in touch on a frequent basis with e-mails about our shared desire to work together.

Then I got it, the e-mail zinger.

Just wanting to be practical here, since I haven't seen or heard back from my many messages to you, I have to assume it will be impossible to bring your offerings to our audience.

I hope I may be mistaken, but the long silence prompts me to think I should just take you off this list. While I would love to see the great solutions you create as part of our world, have to accept that silence likely means no. If I'm mistaken, do feel free to let me know, but if I don't hear from you, I'll be clear with our team that working with {Company Name} isn't of interest to VerticalResponse here.

Wishing you all the best (and hoping to be very wrong,)

Whoa! I felt like crap! I instantly e-mailed her back, apologized and told her what was going on behind the scenes and why we've been a bit quiet. She understood and we'll keep in touch for when our new stuff comes out.

Did a little guilt work? You bet. I think being totally honest is a great tactic to get someone's attention.

What do you think?

Did you enjoy this post? If so, sign up for the free VR Buzz weekly newsletter and check out the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog.

IMAGE: jonmelsa/Flickr
Last updated: May 13, 2013




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