Do You People READ?

“Hi Mitch,

Looks like you run the marketing system over at Taos. I’m in a similar state here at Fannit; running marketing channels for both our clients and for ourselves.

It can feel a bit like being on a treadmill, isn’t it?

I’d like to connect and swap stories sometime.”

I received this message this morning on LinkedIn.  I am not calling out the person who sent it, because honestly, who would ever want to do business with him or her?  Really?  I run the marketing system, do I?  Let’s take a quick look at my LinkedIn profile and see where he might have gotten that…

image

Nope… nowhere in the job description (not at Taos, nor in any of the top three or even ten recent positions) is the word marketing found.  Why? It’s not what I do. 

So… why did this person (from just outside Seattle) decide to pick me?  Well, there is a very good chance that he didn’t; we are in fact connected on LinkedIn, so finding me was not a problem.  After that, he probably used some sort of tool that extrapolates the relevant data (Name, company) from all of his contacts.  It is easy to see that by changing those two words (Mitch, Taos), this seemingly personal and friendly communiqué is actually a form letter, and that the person reaching out to me (likely by automated engine) is likely trying to sell me something.  Sure enough, there it is… his company is an ‘Award Winning Agency.’ He or she is listed as: ‘Entrepreneur > Marketing & Sales Leadership > Mission: Create Tangible Growth in the Lives of Business.’ Tell me that the description does not just drip of “I want to sell you something!?”

SpamIt’s a fact of life in our modern age… spam is everywhere, and people (and companies) are going to great lengths to try to disguise spam as… something else.  I have gotten three phone calls this week that were obviously recordings, but one of them started with ‘DON”T HANG UP!’ and the others with ‘Hey it’s great to speak with you again.  Let’s go over that … that we were discussing!’ honestly, the words ‘Lipstick on a pig’ came to mind, because you can dress it up in a nice white dress and pony tails, but you are still looking at spam.

So what is the solution?  I think the simple answer is to be aware, and have a thick skin.  Hang up the second you realize it is a solicitation call, and press DELETE (or MARK AS JUNK) when you recognize it as spam.  Sure, for your e-mail you can go to great lengths to filter out junk mail (as my old buddy Louie Dore can tell you all about), but what about Facebook? LinkedIn? phone? every other platform where information comes at us that marketers, solicitors, and scammers have coopted to their nefarious purposes? Maybe there are tools that I don’t know about… but how high is up? How much money and effort do you want to exhaust trying to keep all of your channels free of solicitations? Just delete it. 

I, of course, go one step further… sometimes.  I might respond to people reaching out like this with a message that might look like this:

Hi <Name>. It looks like your reading skills could use some improvement.  I am a Senior Technical Engineer, not at all marketing-related.  Good luck to you.

Of course, on days when I have to watch progress bars continuously for hours on end, I just might write a blog article about the incident to help warn my loyal readers about these techniques.

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