Learn what not to do when prospecting – a true story as it happened to me this week.
We all get them, those random friend requests on facebook. You know the ones… Those that appear to be completely out of the blue. The friend request is not from someone you have recently bumped into, met at an event, been introduced to through another; the person has not taken an action on your website, signed up for your newsletter, or commented, liked or shared one of your social media posts. No – just a random person who requests to become your friend on facebook.
So you’re skeptical. You check out their profile. You look for obvious signs of a spoofed account, if you have friends, groups, or associations in common. If they pass your skepticism, you will likely click accept as I did.
Then it happens – two seconds after you accept the friend request, facebook messenger notifies you of a new message – from, guess who -- your new friend!
The message starts out okay – with “Hi thank you for accepting my friend request”. This – perfectly okay! The next sentence explains they are trying to connect with people to introduce their business to them, asks if you would be willing to check it out. Again, okay.
At this point, most would normally also ask what I do, but oh no – not this lady. She proceeds to give me a long descriptive of the business and it would be so worth my while to use her services. In this case a specific consultant of which, this person would have no idea whether I would need her services – it isn’t something one could tell from facebook posts… Anyway, I promise to check out her page, etc.
The next day, I get another long descriptive about her business and a link to her bio which I dutifully clicked to read – however it was a word doc that wouldn’t open. I also received a complete pitch to her services, and her contact information. I responded that although I responded to her initial request, checked out her page, I did so as I readily promote others’ businesses and thus look at what people have to show me, but -- and here is a big but - I was not personally interested in her services.
First Mistake – Assumed Interest
This woman assumed because I engaged with her and friended her on facebook, that I must be interested in her service.
Second Mistake – Didn’t Qualify or Learn About Me
She didn’t try to qualify my interest, nor did she try to find out anything about me, to see if I would be a good fit for her services, or if I was interested at all – nope, right to the hard sell.
Today, I received yet another message from her, in response to my non-interest except to possibly promote her business if someone asks for services like hers.
Here are her questions:
- How can you promote others business if you don't experience what they service and their products?
- Debi did you read my business bio?
- How can you promote my business ?
Third Mistake – Challenged Me
I was in a mood earlier today, frustrated with a project that wasn’t going as I expected, and decided to respond to her message. (My mistake – don’t reply to someone when you are already aggravated, when this person is aggravating you more).
Anyway, I responded that no I did not read her bio, as the document she supplied wouldn’t open and then I proceeded to answer her questions. I wrote two paragraphs, with what I am known for (connecting people and helping other businesses), and why I do it. I added in my various entities that I have created to help small businesses promote themselves (Connecting Niagara, Niagara Business Directory and Clients & Cocktails Networking), not to mention my business is marketing. I also added that her services were not for me, once again, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know people that would love her services.
Fourth Mistake – Telling Me She Didn’t Have Time for Me
Her response to me was, This is too much for me to read and if you wanna connect with me I gave you the number OK take care bye for now.
My response – if you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask…
She promptly unfriended me… (thankfully!)
With an attitude like this, you know, I will never utter her business or her name to anyone I know, even if asked for the specific service she offers. The nature of her business requires and promotes authenticity – I do believe she doesn’t know the meaning herself – or she does, and she’s showing her true self!
8 Facebook Messenger Prospecting Etiquette Tips
1. Know who you are messaging in advance (do a little research – without stalking the person).
2. Introduce yourself and the reason for the message
3. Ask the recipient about themselves to get to know them a little as well
4. Ask if it is okay, or would you mind checking out my page, Like it if you find it interesting, and please do send my your link as well.
5. Determine if there is a fit before moving to the hardcore sales pitch
6. If there is interest, proceed to a call, appointment or something with the recipient.
7. If it is not a fit, ask if the person will keep you in mind as a referral to their friends, family or colleagues.
8. Thank them for their time in chatting with you and reinforce your willingness to stay connected and engaged with their brand as well.
9. Do not unlike their page or they will do the same to you and your efforts have been wasted.
#1 is a pet peeve of mine – do you know how many phone calls, emails, texts, chats, I receive from other people offering their services to do exactly what I do? Do your research! I have two products that I would market to another marketing agency because the products are specifically meant for marketing agencies – I would never dream of marketing to another agency for the exact services they offer. But that’s another article!
I hope you received some benefit from this rant style post – but I felt it was a ‘Learning Moment’, although, the woman who contacted me will probably never read it to benefit from it…
She unfriended me you know….