One of my clients received an email from a salesperson he's never had ANY prior contact with. The opening sentences read as follows: This week marks the end of March Madness, I can only imagine how busy you have been this month! I would love to connect with you in April to introduce ourselves here at (Company X).
My client's business is not sports-related; his first questions to me were, "Is she implying that I neglected my job so I could catch every single college play-off game during March, or that I worked a lot of extra hours to fit work and basketball in? How would they even know how I feel about basketball?"
No matter what this rep did or didn't mean to imply, my client was confused, unimpressed, and put off by this email. Though I'm sure the salesperson meant no harm, the email has a tone of familiarity that's inappropriate to use with someone he or she has never met.
If reps routinely cold call or introduce themselves via email, companies should insist they send standardized letters that showcase both the rep and the company in a positive, professional light.
Sometimes when reps "wing it:" or try to catch the customer's attention by being clever, the opposite occurs. My client now perceives this company as amateurish and unprofessional. That didn't need to happen.