A Winning Letter
So everyone with management responsibility whether in business or government gets their share of sales calls.
People are competing to get their “foot in the door” and at the same time not get the “door in the face” to do business and of course make money — it’s called capitalism and “it’s the American way!”
Most of the time, managers don’t have time to respond to all the calls they get.
But this week, I received the most brilliant introductory letter from a 26-year old in technology services.
I think it’s important to share from this, because it’s really the best I ever received from anyone looking to make a contact.
First, the letter is handwritten, which right away made it more personal and so got my attention in the first place to even read it.
Second, the person mentions some things that they know and like about me — demonstrating that they did their homework and was also subtly ingratiating about it, but not seemingly in a b.s. or over the top way.
Third, the person shows flexibility to any venue to get an opportunity to touch base (along with a sense of humor throughout), “over lunch, coffee, water, a warm glass of milk, etc.”
Fourth, the specifics of what he’s looking for…”I want to ensure I stay ahead of the curve. I am thinking you can provide some great knowledge.” Elaborating later in his letter, he says, “what keeps you up at night, what will keep you up tomorrow and how will you overcome it.”
Fifth, he tries to make it a win-win for a meeting and says what he can bring to the table…”Well, I can tell funny stories from my weekend, my budget to buy a Tesla one day or my engagements with other gov’t agencies. You pick!”
Sixth, he provides a form of disclosure with a sense of trustworthiness saying, “I am in sales. However that is not my objective with you so I promise not to sell sh*t.”
Seventh, he works to connect to me personally again by referencing a funny blog I wrote about ties, and he says, “I promise not to wear a tie — I hate them too.”
Eighth, he frames this cold call as completely casual, offering again to “steal some time…[or] if not I understand.”
Ninth, leaving it open to get back with him, he writes, “Feel free to email, call, tweet, or carrier pigeon me.”
Tenth, he wishes me well, “Take care Andy”, and he signs it and includes his business card.
My reaction is that this is either a young and brilliant salesperson seeking legitimately to network, learn, and make some possible future opportunity inroads unknown.
Of course, if I think more from a operational security (OpSec) and security awareness training perspective, I could be concerned about some smart “social engineering” going on here, but that wasn’t the feeling I got from this.
My gut thinks this is one highly motivated and intelligent young man creatively getting into his profession, and I must say, it was impressively done. ;-)