This post references my time at KPMG. I am no longer at KPMG but I have had this post in draft for a while now and thought it was time to finish it off.
A while ago I did a Crime File on ETSY and their customer service when setting up my store. This time it is LinkedIn or, more accurately, the lazy marketing companies who use it to try and generate leads for others. On two occasions I have received emails like this:
The KPMG article referenced was not one I had any involvement in and I think it is quite courageous to email someone who works at KPMG and suggest they have “lazy accountants”. It is my opinion that KPMG has some of the hardest working and committed accountants I have ever seen. I was also left with the feeling that, despite their suggestions otherwise, they did make this offer to anyone prepared to listen.
The article claimed to come from the Principal at an accounting company. I have removed their name and the name of their company from the above image but left on the true CRM criminals. Lead Gladiator.
Lead Gladiator offer a ‘flood’ of leads for a ‘mere’ $2,000/month, using the methods as described here.
Knowing the Principal could do better, and having some LinkedIn InMail credits to burn, I messaged him.
Sadly the Principal never got back to me but Lead Gladiator did.
I preferred the tone of this message but the damage had already been done. You only get one chance to make a first impression and they had failed. I replied back.
I never heard from them again. The biggest issue for me in this was one of authenticity. Talking about an article I had no involvement with, telling one of the world’s largest professional services companies that they have “lazy accountants” and then suggesting the offer being made in a clumsily customized mass marketing piece is somehow exclusive, started the relationship on the wrong foot. The interaction damaged the organisation who paid Lead Gladiator more than it helped them and I doubt they got value for the large amounts of money they spent. Moreover, what does it say about your company if you only care about new customers enough to outsource your relationship with them?
My second experience started in a similar way:
Either a bot had generated the text or someone had run it through Google translate without sanity checking it with a native speaker. Whichever it was I only partially understood their intention. Again, LinkedIn InMail came to the rescue. I sent a message to the Founder.
To his credit, the Founder replied.
Good deed done for the day.
While it can be tempting to outsource parts of your business to ‘experts’, be very careful who you partner with. In both of these cases, the business owners’ intentions were good; to grow the business. However, in putting their faith in third parties and not being involved in the process they damaged their brand and potentially achieved the exact opposite result of what they were trying to achieve.
A business is successful when it creates real relationships with its customers and stakeholders and there is no quick way to do this. True customer relationship management is about fostering long term relationships and delivering value. If you cannot be bothered to even engage with a prospect in an authentic way, why would that prospect think you are going to deliver value when they employ you?