Isn’t it a common phenomenon that after having attended a networking event, you received an email from someone you might have met at that event; listing their products or services? Yes?? Then you, my friend have met a “Sale-zy Networker”. In the beginning, sending such company info emails may seem like a great idea, there are some really good reasons why we should “NOT” take this approach without careful thinking!
In a recent encounter at a networking event where I met a corporate trainer claiming that he does training for some really big companies in India, he gave some impressive names. Next morning, first thing was that I got an email from him, subject of which gave away that this was a company info email. Giving it benefit of the doubt, I read the first 2 lines out of 30 and then hit “DELETE“.
Most of us follow this practice of sending company info emails right after having met someone at a networking opportunity. This has become so common today that many consider it to be an industry best practice. I am sorry to disappoint you but the truth is that it is a horrible way to network and if we go by what research says: at best you are looking at 1% success out of it, if you’re lucky! So that makes it a very poor ROI on a networking initiative!
EXCEPTION: If someone has himself/ herself asked for your company information, then it’s a different story altogether. If people haven’t asked for it & you are following this practice, than here are these3 tough thoughts to accept:
1) At the least this is SPAM and No one likes being SPAMMED!
2) It is SPAM and a lot many are also sending it to the same person you are sending it to, it would be unlikely that the person receiving it would have time to read them all, so most likely they all just get deleted.
3) If you think about it, Established businesses don’t follow this practice, so by sending such emails we create credibility loss for ourselves and can also make ourselves look desperate, honestly We believe it does. In networking, our reputation is our biggest asset.
So the way we loom at it, above mentioned points are very compelling reasons not to try and push our company or its products and services down the inbox of others after having met them at a networking opportunity, it is like force selling. Just ask yourself, how many of such emails do you read? Hardly anyone of us would say, we do! While many follow this practice, they actually do it with good intent, that is to share knowledge and there is a genuine challenge here, the problem is: THEY DON’T KNOW ANY OTHER WAY TO DO IT. It is understandable that lacking other good options, this is what is left!
What I am not saying that one should abandon use of emails to connect with people , but there are right ways to do things and then there are wrong ways to do them. We must always exercise caution to ensure that what we are doing does not end up harming us in the long run.
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Article written by : Paritosh Pathak