Networking and Spam

If you’ve ever thought that building your data base through your networking efforts was a good idea … please think again.

Networking is about building mutually beneficial relationships over time.  Building your data base with email addresses so that you can send out your ezine or other solicitations to ever greater numbers of people is a one sided relationship … it’s all about you.  People know this … and they don’t like it.

I run a local networking group that has nearly 300 members.  Yesterday we had an event with 120 people in the room.  We focus on building relationships at our events and for the most part the majority of folks “get it” that face to face and 1 to 1 contact is the best way to build relationship.

However, there is always one person in any group that spends his or her time going around the room collecting business cards as if he or she is on an Easter Egg hunt.  Which means that they gather as many cards as possible.

I’ve seen this happen time and time again .. and I always know what the outcome will be from this frenzied activity.  That person is building their data base and the only reason that they are in the room is to grab as many cards as possible so they can go back to their office and input the information and immediately send out an email blast to the group.

I often wonder, when I receive ezines and other email that appear to be subscription based, if the person who put my name on their list really thinks that I look forward to receiving their email.  That maybe I’m sitting at my desk with nothing at all to do when their email pops into my inbox … and that I exclaim with joy “Yowzers, I’m so glad to be getting yet another sales message!”  Or maybe they think that by subscribing me to their list without my permission will endear me to them and make me want to learn more about them and buy stuff from them.

Well, they should think again.  In this day and age, there aren’t too many folks that I know that enjoy this sort of experience.

As a matter of fact, after our event yesterday, I had several people send me emails complaining that they had received an email from one of our members in which she clearly stated that she had added them to her email list and if they didn’t want to be on it they could contact her to be removed.  One person who complained even told me that this was an illegal practice and she felt that the person in question was acting in an unethical way.  Another person emailed and said that he had received the same email and had immediately unsubscribed from her ezine and felt that she was using a bad practice to build her list.  These are highly negative responses to a person’s supposed networking efforts.

What kind of an impression are you making on people that you come into contact with through your networking activities?  I hope it isn’t what I’ve described above!

So, please, if you use these sort of tactics and if you think that people don’t notice and don’t care ….  I want you to know that we do notice and we do care and we all just wish that you would stop it.

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