Tuesday Tips: Professional Robots Suck

by Jan 20, 2015

I’ve decided to start a weekly blog called Tuesday Tips! It will be short and sweet (maybe) and contain useful information (definitely).

This week’s topic: Professional Robots Suck

It might be difficult to put on a smile when you’re feeling low, but in business you have little choice if you want to do well. There is also a difference between being professional and being a robot.

Recently I received an email from a fellow designer, specifically a web designer. This individual was polite and professional in their message, but there was something missing from the message. They were pitching their web design and marketing services but failed to point out parts of my site that they thought could use some work. I don’t know this designer personally, but I checked out their site. Seemed legit enough but I politely declined their inquiry, stating the site was fresh and I got the design side already covered. I didn’t receive a reply from my reply, so I assumed they moved on. I was wrong.

I received an exact duplicate message just a week or so after the first message. Complete copy and paste job on the content, word for word. Really? I mean, really? The original message didn’t sound like they looked at my website at all. There was no hint that they explored beyond the Contact page. That was a turn off. Then I got an exact copy of the first message, that I turned down already, not more than two weeks later. This feels like a dial-up telemarketer with a prerecorded message. Nothing human about it.

This is not only slightly annoying, but gives the wrong impression about you as a professional. Not only did you not bother to explore the site of your possible client, you didn’t read the first message that said “No thanks” after first contact. Rejection sucks but you have to be professional no matter what.

If you’re a freelancer and are trying to make some new contacts by pitching your services, do some research before you send your cold-call (email). Customize your message, make a point to mention parts of their current site, maybe sprinkle a suggestion here or there, make the effort to sound like you want to help (which you want to). Yes, it will take a lot longer and might not reap a lot of results even with the customized content. But it will reflect much better on you when you do get an email from a long ago cold-call recipient who noticed you took the extra time and effort. It will make you look like a living human being that is easy to approach and worth working with.

This is how you build strong professional relationships. It’s always worth the extra effort.