Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weary Wednesdays: Sales Fail

So, the last place you want to get hit on by a not-so-savvy salesman is at your daughter's wedding. But that's exactly what happened to my parents last month.

The boyfriend of one the guests--I'll call him Jim Doe--is in real estate, and apparently, found out that my parents are in the market for a retirement home south of the city. Which he and his girlfriend, A, managed to point out repeatedly throughout the night--and the more beers they consumed, the more persistent their ill-timed sales pitch became. I know times are tough, but dude--the parents of the bride at a wedding? Just shake somehands, give your well wishes and enjoy the free booze.

Unfortunately, as people become more desperate for business and increasingly misguided about the proper use of social media, these types of occurrences are becoming the norm. I can't tell you how many times I've followed someone on Twitter, only to promptly "un" follow him or her after receiving a direct message urging me to buy a book or some amazing product/service/website to improve my business--presumptuous much? Why the overt sales pitch when a simple "thanks for the follow" or "looking forward to reading your tweets" would suffice?

The same principle works for face-to-face conversations. I've met some great people out and about--dinner parties, networking events, the gym--and many of these people have become my clients and vice versa. But our client relationship began with a PERSONAL relationship. Whether the initial connection was made through a shared interest, a mutual friend or a similar profession, our relationships began with a common point of connection and genuine desire to get to know one another--not to make a buck. I love connecting with people and then sharing those connections with others--but you won't even make it into my virtual Roladex if you start with a hard sell.

Don't be a sales fail.


  1. I have nothing to sell! However, why don't you shop on Amazon through my link?

    Kidding, I kid.

    Kind of.


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