I recently asked some of my readers and networking contacts what marketing tactics annoyed them. I thought it would be a good idea to start off the New Year with a list of what not to do, as we all put together our marketing plans for this year. Some of these concepts stretch beyond marketing and into networking behavior and networking events, but they are still good tips to keep in mind.
1. Unsubscribe from my newsletter, but send me yours
Gotta love that one! Doesn’t everybody want a one way relationship?
2. Confuse Marketing with Sales
If you are at a networking event, just be normal and talk to people. Be interested in them. Don’t start selling to someone before you know who they are, and what their business is about, and what interests them. And if somehow you do end up doing some self promoting, if they aren’t showing any signs of interest, stop selling!
3. Disrespect other people’s time
Hopefully cold calling will one day disappear, but until then perhaps those who do it can start to get good at it and realize that those they are interrupting have other things going on. If you are lucky enough to get a moment of their time, be brief, mention one value proposition (i.e. of value to the person you are calling), respect their time, and try to set up a convenient time to talk. One colleague mentioned that a cold caller got upset because he hadn’t reviewed their unsolicited information yet.
Another pet peeve noted was when the same company calls you twice in the same day, after you’ve already said no the first time. No does mean no! One person suggested medication or hospitalization for those that don’t understand this. The auto generated calls are particularly annoying to me. You can always see them coming: it starts with an 800# or unknown caller on the caller id, then if you do pick up you get the delay before anyone speaks. It’s in that moment that I usually hang up because I know what’s next. But if I do happen to answer and say, “hello, this is Lori Williams, can I help you?” , I have to endure the pause, followed by the scripted message I just heard a few hours ago.
Another person mentioned that they don’t like it when events start or end after the allocated time. Respecting other people’s time means beginning on time, for those who are there, and not waiting for those who aren’t. And it means ending on time for those who have appointments after.
A final comment in this category included people you are in business meetings with who continue to take calls, emails, and text messages during your meeting. That sends a clear message to the person you are meeting with that they are not as important to you as the other people who you are communicating with. Be fully present whenever you are talking with someone in person or on the phone, or don’t bother taking the call or meeting.
Lori T. Williams is a 20 year attorney based in Birmingham, MI. She owns a legal referral and legal consulting business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC. For more information, visit www.bestlegalresource.com.