It’s not my job as the prospect to figure out why I should talk to sales reps.  It shouldn’t be on my shoulders to reply to every single inbound email without any ounce of value or perceived benefit from the sender.  I shouldn’t be shamed or guilted into engaging.

And yet, it seems that’s exactly what many sales development reps want from me and countless other email recipients lately.

Aggressive pursuit and follow-up from salespeople isn’t anything new.  But the volume of “why haven’t you responded to me” emails appears to be on the rise.

I get that we’re reaching the end of the month and the end of the quarter.  But in just the past two weeks, I’ve seen emails that literally say the following:

“I don’t want to waste your time, I know you’re busy. If this is something you would like to pursue but have been busy, I am happy to set up a time based on your availability. If you are not interested in reviewing how <company name> might be a fit for you right now, let me know and I can take you off my list.”  (this after three previous emails asking for 15 minutes without explaining the topic, value proposition or agenda)

“Matt, I’ve reached out a few times over the last couple weeks, but I’m not here to annoy you. If the timing’s not right, or it’s not a fit, I understand.  I’m going to take no response as an indicator that one of the above is true.” (they asked for the meeting but never explained what it was for)

“Hey Matt, just wanted to make sure you got my last email.”

“Have you been too busy to read our important messages?”

“Have you been kidnapped or eaten by an alligator?” (yes, this is verbatim from a recent prospecting email)

Honestly, I have no problem with sales reps who are proactive, who work hard to get the deal or conversation.  But if you ask for a meeting without telling me what’s in it for me, the answer is no.  If you expect me to read and engage with every email I receive (especially those that prioritize your needs, not mine), you’re fooling yourself.

Don’t tell me I should love your product because you have a quota to hit.

Don’t badger me for a response without making it worth my while.

Don’t assume my priorities are your priorities.

And I have yet to find a scenario where making me feel bad for not responding is a path to building trust, credibility, respect and conversion.

The alternative, of course, is simple and accessible to anyone.  Make your message about the recipient.  Take two seconds to learn a bit about them and customize your approach.  Pitch the outcome, THEN ask for a response.

Yes, this means you need to try a little harder.  Take a little more time to improve your approach.

But if you want my attention, that onus is on you, not me.