In recent years I have been trying to “pay forward” whenever there was an opportunity. This included providing complimentary coaching sessions for women who were in transition, giving business advice to people who needed it, offering seminars at a reduced price when budgets were tight.
It’s important to me to be generous. I am generous in my personal life and my professional way of doing things is very similar and it has served me well. I believe in paying forward and the philosophy that what goes around, comes around.
Recently however, I observed a trend where people (especially on Social Networks) are just asking and asking, without adhering any kind of etiquette.
Especially on Twitter there is a strong trend to just blast people with business offerings that are not relevant at all. The other day I got a tweet from a person who told me that they could make a famous musician of me. Really?
I haven’t played the piano in years (the only instrument I ever managed to get a decent sound out of) and nobody wants to hear me sing.
LinkedIn is a close second.
Yes, I use the InMail function to reach people, but I always research them, their company, their background before touching base with them.
Since when has the business world turned into a “me-me” society?
The other day I reached out to a prospective client via LinkedIn and he responded, but immediately to conversation transitioned to his needs and how I could help him find a new job. I help people find jobs a lot, I am very well connected on LinkedIn and don’t shy away from utilizing my network and my groups to promote people that I feel are worth promoting, but only if I know you and only if I have a good impression of that person.
I wouldn’t recommend somebody who is self serving.
Why do I write about this? Because it’s a trend, it’s become systemic. Wherever I turn, there are people waiting in the trenches to just pitch their services without regard who they actually target.
Let’s think about the “good old” days where we had to have conversations with people, either on the phone or in-person. You actually had to have human interaction and that was what kept us from doing things that we are doing today, because we can hide behind a computer screen and social networks. Just because you are using Twitter doesn’t take away from your bad judgment. It’s still you, the person using Twitter who is making the decision to send that message, or are you?
There is services out there that offer Twitter followers and the ability to manage your social media. Maybe this behavior is a result of it.
In the end, if you want to be successful in sales and business, you will have to be careful how you manage your reputation, because that’s all you have. Protect it and be careful not to leave a bad impression, because social networks can spread that negative message really fast, too!
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