Business Communication FAILS!

Blasting a sales message to everyone you can get in front of is like throwing spaghetti up on the wall to see what sticks. Mostly it just gets the wall dirty!

If you are contacting people for any type of business issue (whether a donation, sale, or exposure), you need to make sure that you tailor your message to that individual or you risk offending them and wasting everyone's time.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach.  You can't simply throw a bunch of emails out and hope some of them will stick.  Well, you can (and people do), but you shouldn't because most people will not feel inclined to respond unless you address them personally. Nor will your message be effective if you are shoving it in front of the wrong audience.  

Here are three recent examples I've had and why they failed...miserably! 

1. Emailing for business collaboration:
If you are contacting a business to ask them to share your information, article, or to collaborate with you in some way, PLEASE make sure you READ their website FIRST so you know what they are about! It does two things.  First, it will tell you if what you want is a good fit for you both so it doesn't waste your time or the business owner's time.  And second, it shows the business owner that you are a professional and cared enough to investigate an opportunity instead of creating the appearance that you are just emailing everyone with a website to gain some exposure.

I can't tell you how many times someone has emailed asking me to include their art supplies (because they briefly glanced at the name Art of Eloquence and assumed it's an art store) or to publish their article on how to homeschool in Milwaukee (because they noticed I have a section for homeschool materials and assumed I write about Milwaukee).

2. Direct Sales Offers:

If you are with a direct sales company and would like to get some sales, it's not advisable to blast a Private Message to everyone on your Facebook friend's list.  Here's the thing.  Every once in a while, I get a PM from someone on Facebook about their sales party. I know it's been copied and pasted because it's very looooooong and doesn't apply to me in the least.  

I once recieved one about a housewarming party and a baby shower they wanted me to attend that included details about gift ideas...across the country from me.  Just recently I received an invitation to an Usborne Books online party.  Now, my youngest child is about to leave for college, but the biggest issue for me was the fact that, in the five years we had been connected Facebook friends, she had "liked" and commented and interacted with me a grand total of exactly ZERO times up until that message.  

If you are going to invite someone to your housewarming, you might want to make sure that they, at the very least, reside in the same part of the country you do.  I'm all for supporting your friends in business, but if you are asking people to buy stuff from you, you might make sure that they actually have a need for what you're selling first.  

3. GoFundMe 

This is a site that has wonderful potential to help those in need and I would love to help my friends and family financially if I can, but there is a time and place and that time and place isn't EVERY DAY for YEARS!

A week or two ago, someone (who I have never heard from before in all the years we had been connected on Facebook) posted her GoFundMe link on MY WALL.  No warning, no PM asking, no conversation, no nothing.  Just posted it on my wall for me and all my other Facebook friends to see (and presumably fund).  

Now this one was egregious!  I went to her page to find out what trouble had befallen her because I didn't even recognize her name.  What I found was that, for the last two years, she had been posting two different GoFundMe links almost every day!  I was curious so I looked through her posts and found that, in all that time, she had never EVER answered anyone who had commented on anything she ever posted.  She had been posting provocative "Christian" themed posts (it seemed in order to get attention to her wall), but had never engaged anyone in conversation.  

It's one thing to be in need. I've been there before myself.  It's quite another to make a career of it.  If one of my friends has a need, I don't mind if they contact me for help.  I'd love to if I can, but to post something on MY wall when you have never even talked to me, is a bit presumptuous.  

There is a real person behind that website and a human being reading your social media post.  Make sure you address your need to them and not at them.  It does take more time, but It will help you to craft a more effective message and it will allow you to make a better impression in the process.   

Thoughts? Comments? Has this happened to you? What did you think? 


  • JoJo Tabares

    Lillian, I agree. If I find that we have never had any contact, I usually unfriend them. Why be connected on a social networking platform if we never socially network. Right? lol

  • JoJo Tabares

    Sara, that’s a good point. Because it’s done this way so often, those who are really in need are afraid to be seen this way.

  • Sara @ THe Holy Mess

    “They make a career of being in need.” Right? So sad, because then people who are in need are afraid at times to say anything.

  • Lillian Stathopoulos

    These are all great examples, and I’m sure many people can relate. All too often I get messages on Facebook asking me to donate to this, like that, or follow something. It’s frustrating and like you said, I know its been copied and pasted. If it were a friend who personally asked me to do something, then I would have absolutely no problem doing it for them. Its when its someone who I haven’t spoken to years that asks me to do something and it makes me question why we are even still Facebook friends.

  • JoJo Tabares

    That’s the other thing about all those who do this. It’s so overdone that nobody pays attention to things that look like sales pitches anymore.

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