When a sales person contacts you do you simply blow them off,delete the email or voice mail message? You may want to reconsider as you never know where your next sale, referral or lead will come from.
I know that you may get inundated with solicitation, but you should be able to decipher which ones you should give a reply to. Like people you have meet in person, or you know run in the same business community circles.
I got advice from another active rain member that has changed my approach when making cold calls. This same advice can be applied in the reverse as well.
Here it is: The goal is to ask them may I send you information ONLY. 99% of the people you are contacting haven't even considered at the moment what you are selling or services being offered. So why force them to interrupt their day to consider you. Send info for them to review when they are ready.
So my response to cold calls or emails when I receive them is: "Can you please add me to your email list so that when we are ready to buy you will be fresh in our minds." Thanks again for contacting me. Later you can simply email back a no thank you or just allow the emails to continue as you have some interest.
"Don't burn your bridges"
I got a call one day : We are having a meeting in 2 hours is there anyway that you can make it and give a presentation? Knowing the value of the possible sales I said yes . This was a committee meeting and the head of the committee did not prepare anything to present so I was saving his hide. I did the meeting and followed up a few days after to inquire of the level of interest, got voice mail, left about 8 messages with no call back, until I hear no I don't give up.
I finally did give up but I never forgot. The account was Morgan Stanley.
About 6 month later my financial planner advises me that he is now a division of Morgan Stanley. I told him the story and I asked him, why would I put my life savings with a company that cannot give the common courtesy of a return call?
I have been looking into joining a Chamber in the area. I have made inquires to about 6 local Chambers emailing the president or director. To date I only got a response from 2. It's been 3 weeks from my first inquiry. Not a good sign. But it helped me to narrow down the choice.
I hope you find this info helpful in some way.