A few years ago, it seems there was a trend of sales “professionals” sending calendar invitations to prospects (via outlook) then showing up in the lobby at the proposed time if the person didn’t respond. I remember one peer I had in particular used to say, “I never cold call anyone. I just send them a calendar invitation.”
I always felt like that was a pushy tactic and was never a fan of it* so am glad that the trend seems to have run its course. I think there were a few reasons for this trend: one is the silly obsession sales VPs have with meeting metrics, i.e. requiring sales people to have a certain number of meetings in a week and threatening to fire them if they don’t meet it. In this case, by sending a calendar invitation a sales person is more likely to end up with a meeting in some shape or form, and if they show up in the lobby and the client is passive aggressive and doesn’t show then the sales rep can still claim they had the meeting since it shows on their calendar. The second is in a highly competitive sales world where managers are deluged with calls and emails from sales people, it was a way of trying anything to get a few minutes of a Decision Maker’s time. Lastly, it was like anything else, a few more people started doing it, which led to a few more people doing it, and so on until there was a snowball effect, which like most snowball effects run their course until they dwindle. But, again, it does seem like the popularity of this tactic has run its course, thankfully.
In my experience, there is no magic formula — such as unsoliced calendar invitations — to reaching all managers all the time. As someone who has been in management so has received my share of unsolicited calls, my pet peeve are reps who ask for 15 minutes of time via email but really don’t provide any information on what they are offering. Why would I possibly commit to 15 minutes of time I don’t have when I don’t even know what the rep is offering? 🙂
* Except if I met with a client and the client owed me follow up or made a commitment and wasn’t following through on it – I don’t mind if managers don’t want to take my call or to meet or aren’t interested, but it is a pet peeve of mine if they take my time and make some promises then don’t follow up That is, I won’t waste their time, but don’t waste mine either 🙂 ).