Literally just put the phone down from a call enticing me to spend some money on a fancy corporate hospitality package for me and my clients later in the year. Further investigation with the caller as to my status on their CRM reveals information on me that's so out of date it beggars belief how they see it as a reliable source of business generation. Not only have I not run my own business for many years, but I was still in short trousers when they last updated my details.....probably.

Understanding your audience - be they client or prospect - has to start with accurate information from the basics upwards. No amount of jocular, matey chat is going to replace this accuracy or start to build engagement. And from the basics needs to come a real understanding of a client or prospect's situation, culture, future plans, and potential requirements.

Tailoring an approach based on this understanding is the only way to succeed. I love selling and I love to be sold to. Amateurs need not apply.