‘High importance’ to you, not me

Have you ever received a message similar to this?

“Since I never heard back from you regarding my earlier email, I wanted to follow up to see if you are available for me to visit your office next week.” It was sent with “high importance” with the subject line: “Urgent response needed.”

How do you react when the sender is representing a product that is not appropriate for you or your organization? What do you say when you are no longer in a particular role to influence any decisions regarding this item or service?

I’ve seen very polite, patient and politically suitable responses like, “Thank you for your message, but I am no longer in a role that would require your services. Please omit me from any future correspondence.” What then follows is another message asking, “Who else in your organization could I contact that could utilize my services?” This would then require more time and additional research to uncover another name that may or may not help this total stranger accomplish their goals. One time the new contact name I provided was approached with the message, “Bart suggested I speak to you.”

Are you the type of organization that is approaching potential customers this way? If so, what can you do to alter your approach?

How would you handle responding to inquiries like these? Do you just delete?

MPD: Consider the “importance” of messages to the receiver.