Is Sending Spam Killing Your Business?
SPAM is taking e-mail, which is a wonderful tool, and exploiting the idea that it’s very inexpensive to send mail.
– Bill Gates
Years ago, Xerox was faced with its biggest business crisis to date. Ronald Reagan had just eliminated trade tariffs. The influx of new copier equipment turned the company’s bread & butter business on its head. In just a matter of months, imported copiers flooded the market. In a hurried attempt to solve the problem, Xerox established a sales institute with dozens of industrial psychologists and behavioral scientists. Their research identified a key behavioral fact that human beings are hard-wired to be able to think about something other than themselves for a maximum of 15-seconds.
The insight made pitch-selling obsolete. In fact, good salesmanship is not about us, it is 100% about the person in front of us. Today, great sales come from asking great questions. By understanding the needs and expectations of anyone we hope to serve, we create rapport and clarity in how we are going to solve their problems.
The purpose of social media wasn’t to sell things or services, it was to build relationships. That is the ethos of the LinkedIn and Facebook. Junk mail, pitches, SPAM, and unsolicited calls have driven prospects to take all kinds of measure to protect their time. So, showering thousands of readers with unwanted mail typically does far more harm than good. We train individuals and organizations in how to use social media to build relationships. Once again, our approach is about the people we are reaching out to and not about us. If we start publishing pitches, readers quickly become trained to see your name and move on. Rather than wasting all of this energy promoting yourself, try becoming more interested in others. Learn what motivates your connections, what causes them pain, what they aspire to become, and, of course, identify the problems you can help solve.
In essence, when we use social media to build a community we are indeed on the right track. The most successful people in the world have extensive support systems around them. Sometimes, we assume high performers bought their communities after becoming rich and famous. The truth is actually quite different. People become rich, famous and successful because they built a customized support system.
SPAM turns so many people off, perhaps it would be valuable to think of spending more high-quality time going through LinkedIn and Facebook and identify the very people you want in your support system. Try giving people time to build a relationship, to break bread, to get to know each other. Don’t have time for that? You have 5,000 prospects to contact?
The single biggest problem about that notion is the illusion that communication has taken place.
Someone once told a friend of mine that he was going to a seminar to learn how to find a romantic partner. He responded, “When people say that, what they usually need is a lesson in good manners.”
Curiosity, genuine interest, paying attention and listening to the people we encounter, especially in social media, can add up to a game-changing turning point.
Brought to you by David Harder, President – Inspired Work, Inc.
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