Tuesday 2¢: Sorry, we are not friends (yet)

This Tuesday 2¢, I read the sentence “talk to businesses like they are your friend” and I have some thoughts…

I had something else planned for tonight’s Tuesday 2¢, but I just read the sentence from a LinkedIn post a colleague shared with me:

“talk to businesses like they are your friend”

….and well, by golly, a different rant began to rise…

Businesses don’t need friends.

Business buyers don’t need friends. 

Business buyers need someone who can identify and solve their problems.

Or more accurately:

Business buyers need someone who can identify and solve their problems and demonstrate credibility that they are trustworthy enough for the buyer to take the big personal risk with their budget and personal reputation, overcome their FOFU (Fear Of F’in’ Up) and trust the supplier that they will do what they promised without embarrassing the buyer in front of their boss.

Not quite so catchy.

And yet, I have an inbox full of earnest BDR folks (whom I have a ton of empathy for as it’s a tough gig) who seem to have bought a list or scraped my details out of legitimate interest and, on this most tenuous basis for forming a relationship, decided we are chums.

(On the topic of legitimate interest, this isn’t my first spam rant – I refer you to Legitimate Interest Does Not Mean Interest)

I’m not saying B2B sales and marketing should be B2Boring or some mechanical transaction. 

If I had read “talk to businesses like they are human, I’d be all aboard that groovy train. 

And being human means respecting the buyer’s time and personal space (nope not friends) and having empathy for all those feelings I touched on above, most notably FOFU and certainly not cruising the dark streets of B2B town asking, “how you doin’”?   

And it’s not just me; seeing this, I was reminded of the early days of the Rockstar CMO Podcast (episode 15), when I interviewed the rather wonderful personal branding expert Jane Scandurra.

At the end of every podcast interview, I ask my guests what they would like to chuck into the Rockstar CMO Swimming Pool, our portal to hell for all the bullshit, snake oil, and overhyped trends that plague this wonderful marketing industry we love. And she chucked this very topic in, specifically referring to LinkedIn. 

“… something that’s really been pissing me off lately is LinkedIn solicitations and sales pitches that that sound like they’re coming from my best friend, and they’re for services that I clearly have no need for and if they just checked out my profile on my website, but email marketing is alive and well and you know, even a blind squirrel finds a nut eventually, but it is just killing LinkedIn”

Jane Scandurra

Nicely put (I must catch-up with Jane – I enjoyed that chat).

“talk to businesses like they are your friend”

Nah, sorry, we are not friends (yet).

The image was created using A.I. through NightCafe Creator

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