How to Sell and Pitch to Me at #SHRM16

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You might not have heard that last month, I announced that I jumped back into the corporate folds as a talent acquisition practitioner. I’m the new VP of Talent Strategies at the Advanced Group. I’m very excited to be involved with a growing, evolving and inventive company. Today wraps up my seventh week with the organization, and I’m still enjoying my corporate honeymoon. I love the projects I’m working on, the culture and especially the people I’m meeting with and getting to know every single day.

How to Sell to Human Resources Me

Since my announcement, I’ve received a handful of phone calls and emails not as many as I expected from service providers, vendors and technologies. The week of my announcement I had a relocation company reach out to me offering to mail me an information packet. I work from home so I tentatively gave him my home address. For all other correspondence in relation to this blog, I use a digital mail service especially for weeks like this. I have received about 30 pieces of unwanted postcards and mail for the SHRM conference. I look at them digitally and then recycle them. I am paying $50.00 a month for this service because I don’t want your spammy fliers, postcards and mail. I will and have accepted packages from my digital mail address in the form of wine, chocolates and cookies. I just forward them from my digital San Francisco mailing address and pay extra to mail them to my home address.

I go to a lot of trouble to protect myself from spam. I receive 600 emails a day to my blog email address and pay a virtual assistant to sort and prioritize my emails so I don’t have to read your PR pitches, latest announcements or sales pitches begging me to buy your latest technology. I don’t say all this to brag. I’m just telling you my reality and likely the challenges that practitioners, influencers and human being have. This is a lot of work. Every unwanted email to send me ends up not just costing me my time but actually money that I’m paying for Danielle to manage for me.

How I want to Be Pitched & Sold to at #SHRM16

I’m telling you all this because I want you to understand how I want to be engaged, sold to and talked to at an event like SHRM. How I want to be sold to in human resources is important. I don’t really care for 95% of your free prizes, watches and drones. I like vespas but they aren’t practical for me. These prizes have to resonate with me and by resonate I don’t mean sending me an email newsletter or mass message. I want you to do the work. Get to know me and do the research before you reach out to me as a sales prospect for your company.

  • Do the Work. Research me. Research the hell out about me. Visit my LinkedIn profile. Read the blog. Follow me on Twitter. Find out I like French champagne, Starbucks and Tieks shoes. That I only use Apple products. Learn about my background, my experience, listen to my podcast or actually read my blog before messaging me.
  • Customize your message. Just like recruiters who use sourcing technology whether it’s Entelo, LinkedIn Recruiter or SwoopTalent, once you’ve done your research, you need to find a way to get the attention of your target sales prospect also known as the person you are trying to build a relationship with. Please don’t send me a canned message like every other “hot prospect” you have in your CRM. Send me a custom, creative and engaging message that gets my attention using your above research to show me you aren’t the average technology or sales guy or gal.
  • Respect My Time. Truth be told my SHRM Annual dance card is literally full but I will make some room for really awesome people, companies and products. However, it might not happen. Please understand that I won’t just swing by your booth. The expo hall is the perfect place for me to lose focus as someone with adult ADHD. I will want to schedule a meeting or phone in the future which at the moment is likely in 3-4 weeks. I have this thing called vacation and also a busy family in addition to my full time job and other blogging & business responsibilities.
  • Be Prepared to Build the Relationship. The best way to get time on my calendar is to build trust. One single creative email sent 5 times isn’t going to do the job. My least favorite is the email follow up asking me if I’ve read your email. I don’t respond because I don’t have time or it doesn’t align with my interests at least on the surface. It takes time to earn my trust. It takes time to build the relationship. The best way to building a relationship is by having a dialogue and conversation. The easiest platforms to make that happen are at Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook. Don’t expect us to fall in love on the first date. Let’s go to know eachother so we can build a foundation that just might last a lifetime.

I’m an HR Unicorn and It’s Okay

I recognize that I’m unusual. I’m an influencer, media, analyst, and practitioner who is in a decision making role. I know all sales and marketing tricks because I’ve been on the other side of things as a consultant, as a board member and as an advisor to HR technology and service provider companies. I am not afraid to tell you how it is. I am not afraid to ask hard questions and make suggestions because that’s who I am. I understand how growing startups and tech companies tell me the technology is coming soon which really means it’s coming soon once someone decides to pay for that module for your new technology. You can’t put me into a single category which really messes up your marketing, sales, and PR efforts. I understand I’m making it complex. Realize I just want to help you the best way I can. I want to work with whether as a practitioner, blogger, influencer or consultant with the best HR and recruiting technologies and products on the market today.


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