NYC, NEW YORK—An area salesperson reportedly carried out a meandering, increasingly desperate 1-way conversation with a sales prospect, firing off the 8th email to said party despite not receiving a single response, forward, or any indication whatsoever that the recipient is even alive, much less interested in hearing her pitch.
Believing herself to be an aggressive sales professional dedicated to “turning a ‘no’ into a ‘yes,’” product outreach representative Ariana Granola prides herself on making her sales pitches personalized, complete with charts displaying competitive analyses that show how competitors fare against her prospects, and drawing on their emotions by creating a sense of urgency when showing opportunity gaps that can be bridged by her company’s services.
To reach prospects, Granola reportedly “usually” leverages “advanced sales tools, like data brokers” to procure email contact information from unsuspecting professionals, the majority of whom have not consented to having their personal data scrubbed from the web and housed in a central repository for strangers to access (some of this information up to date, some of it completely inaccurate and pulled from a social media account abandoned 14 years ago). In this case, however, Granola purchased a list of email contacts from a marketing conference that occurred two years ago, and (similarly) among which not a single participant consented being included.
Considering this a “leading” marketing conference in the industry whose “data is probably verified by the conference organizers and totally not rife with pseudonyms like ‘I.P. Freely’ and ‘Ben Dover,’” Granola determined spending an additional 10 seconds to cross-reference prospects against their LinkedIn profiles, or conducting a simple Google search, would be completely unnecessary. Despite the fact that this 10-second verification process could determine whether these individuals still work for the same company or whether they’re even in a relevant department, Granola nonetheless carried on with her 0.5% success rate, firing off a series of unanswered sales “prospecting” emails that meander from unsolicited sales pitches to desperate, one-way exchanges somehow convinced that a sale has been made without reciprocation occurring:
“Hi, just following up to see if you saw my last email…”
“Hi, how’s your week going? Hopefully well! I’m doing great—thanks for asking! I wanted to circle back and see if you had a chance to think about what we talked about… Did you get a chance to review my last email, I mean… We haven’t actually spoken yet. ha. ha.”
“Hey, wondering if you got a chance to see my email yet. Maybe it’s a Q4 thing. Anway, I’m wondering if I can get on your calendar next week. Here are some times I’m available: M 1-2; W 3:30-4:30; TH 9:30-10:30”
“Uh oh. According to a report we made using our company’s software and without a second opinion, it looks like Industrious Competitor is doing better than your company, Equitable Company, by 300%! But that’s okay! We can help you get back on track. Let’s talk Monday at noon. I’ve gone ahead and sent you an invite!”
“Seems like you missed our appointment today. That’s okay! You probably had a meeting that ran over. I’m sending over a new invite for midweek. By the way, did you get a chance to review our report?”
“Hey there, busy goose! Sorry you missed our meeting today. I’ve gone ahead and got the paperwork ready. Sending over an e-sign.”
“Hey, didn’t get the e-sign yet. I can sign for you. Just let me know and I’ll get your profile set up for you!”
“Hey, I’m going to be in Cincinnati on Monday and can swing by your office with the paperwork if that’s convenient for you!”
It’s worth noting that several of Granola’s recent “marks” also believed that her tactics were not so much aggressive as they were excessive and borderline criminal.
One such “customer,” if reluctant to be considered one, had this to say: “When she showed up at my home, where my children sleep, insisting she was ‘in the neighborhood and was now a good time for a quick product demo,’ I knew she had crossed the line, and considered calling the police. How’d she even get my home address? That seems super creepy and invasive. But alas, I don’t like confrontation, and agreed to the 6-month trial. I just wish I had read the fine print that said I’d be automatically renewed into a 5-year nonrefundable commitment unless I cancelled between the minutes of 3:01 and 3:02AM. That seems like an excessively small and inconvenient window, like as in they want you to jump through excessively small hoops, almost like they’re trying to pull a fast one on you, you know? Anyway, I almost lost my job because of her! So she can go shove it where the sun don’t shine!”
The Thirsty Thespian reached out to marketing manager Johnny Mcleod to see if we’d be able to get his side of the story, whereupon, unlike Granola’s cold shoulder experience, we received an immediate reply. McLeod remarked, “I did go to a marketing conference a couple years ago, purely as an attendant, but I don’t even work in the department she’s trying to contact anymore. A quick look at my LinkedIn could have shown her that. I’m surprised she keeps on emailing me considering that I marked her as spam after her third attempt. You’d think my continued nonreplies would suggest to her that I’m not interested, but some people just can’t take a hint, I guess. It’s worth noting, I don’t remember agreeing to have my email on any sort of sales contact list, nor would I have agreed to had I been prompted with a consent form. This kind of data selling and brokering should be illegal.”
At press time, Granola, who had made the executive decision that her company’s platform is right for McLeod’s company after not hearing back after 8 consecutive emails within the last week, sent off a 9th email, stating “hey, just so you know, I’m gonna go ahead and get the payment for the platform sent over for your convenience! Talk soon!” Shortly thereafter, Granola was taken into FBI custody, her work computer seized, on which they were able to find evidence that Granola had taken part in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud, misuse of a computer, and computer hacking, enlisting the support of a dark web hacker in an attempt to break into the McCleod’s company’s accounts payable system and issue payment for the first month’s subscription fees. She is facing up to 30 years in prison.