Do You Reference The Predecessor?

Here’s a real-life message I heard dropped on a sales call the other day:

“Hi Vicky, it’s [name] from [org] here. I dealt with your predecessor Dan and would love to speak to you about some events we’ve got coming up. My number is … and I look forward to hearing from you.”

A million similar must sadly get left every day.

Chance of reply? A frozen zero.

You can play with certain words. Add a colour, take away a flavour. Yet that’d be misguided snipping at the edges.

For me there’s two whistling howlers.

One is the obvious absence of the call’s useful purpose. Back in the day, Miller-Heiman termed this a VBR; valid business reason. Although their subsequent definition today emits the foul stench of produce decaying a couple of decades past its sell-by date.

“Some events we’ve got coming up” is meaningless. Who cares?

A worse offence though, hails from that intro.

“I dealt with your predecessor”. Really. Double-‘who cares’, with extra whipped ‘whatever’ on top.

“About events we’ve got coming up”. Ew.

Perhaps the greater misdemeanour.

It harks back to the last century. When the initials RI and NC adorned folded perforated sheets of dot matrix output the land over. Referred Internally and New Contact. In case you were wondering.

The advice is plain.

Swerve around any reference of vanished colleagues as your hoped-for door-opener.

Renewed inroads better flow from fresh pastures.

It is all about them. Not their immediate prior post holder. And definitely not about what “you” have in your pipeline.

Framing the problem resolution you bring in terms of the unique, individual view the occupant alone may seek is your way better lead.

Any other history is always secondary.

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