B2B Sales: One weird trick?
November 13, 2019 11:33 AM   Subscribe

IdleCuriousityFilter. Why do would-be vendors always tell me all the names of everyone they've met at my company? They must learn this in school, because they ALL do it. Why do they think I'd care if they know Joe Blow in Marketing or Jane Doe in R&D? Even if it's someone I happen to know, so what? I don't get it.
posted by pH Indicating Socks to Work & Money (8 answers total)
To build credibility. If you happen to know someone they mention then you might ask that person if they recommend the business. It also could show someone else at your company has used the business so they have already been vetted if that's a thing you need to do.
posted by joan_holloway at 11:37 AM on November 13, 2019 [4 favorites]

Good old-fashioned networking.
posted by cooker girl at 11:50 AM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

And... an extensive CRM database.
posted by cross_impact at 12:03 PM on November 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Could be trying to sound you out to try to map out who the stakeholders are in your company's decision to buy.

ABM (account based marketing is a massive thing at the moment), and the idea of a 'buying committee' that is influential in a decision is absolutely key to how it works (i.e. not only going after the guy that signs the cheque).
posted by bifter at 12:18 PM on November 13, 2019 [3 favorites]

Doesn't it matter to you that they're a person who has some sort of connection and awareness of all of you, who has been doing business for a little while as opposed to a total rando who started yesterday and found your agency's name in the phone book?

Also there's always the chance that you'll say "oh Bob's cubicle is right next to mine," that you'll be able to form an emotional connection over how much you both like Bob, and / or that you'll tell Bob you just talked to Vendor and Bob will say "oh yeah I had a great conversation with Vendor. She's really smart and their product would really help us."
posted by salvia at 12:54 PM on November 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It functions as a sort of "linkedin" effect. This is not some random cold caller (even though it totally is); the two of you share a connection and so you should at least hear them out.

Ironically, when someone does this to me (or repeats my name 12 times as they are talking to me) it comes across as so sales-y and slick that it has the opposite effect.
posted by AgentRocket at 1:02 PM on November 13, 2019 [6 favorites]

They also want you to do them the favor of updating their CRM. For example, they haven't in fact talked to Bob in accounting in 5 years, but drop his name partly in the hopes that you'll correct them, mention that Bob is in rehab, and Sheila's the one to talk to in Accounting these days. Oh, she can be reached at this email...
posted by Sunburnt at 4:06 PM on November 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

They're trying to trick you into thinking they're already making inroads at your company. Agree that it has to do with ABM and buying committees (or what Sirius Decisions inexplicably calls a "demand unit").

I had one sales guy email me and tell me he had been chatting with my coworker "Cooper." There was no Cooper at my company. The receptionist, John Cooper, had already told me that the guy had called the front desk trying to get to me (joke's on him, I didn't have a phone at my desk). I replied to the guy and said that he could at least try a little harder to get the receptionist's name right.
posted by radioamy at 8:20 PM on November 14, 2019

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