We all know the importance of being liked in business by our consumers. One single tweet, blog post, YouTube video or Facebook message by one consumer can determine greatness or failure of your business. If you don’t believe me, go ask United Airlines or the band Barcelona.
Last night I was shocked by a specific sales call I received from one of the major real estate networks. I was on my way to church at the time so I did not answer the phone as I thought it might have been one of my new clients calling with questions and I did not want to be late because of being on the phone. After service, I grabbed my phone and began listening to my messages. The message though was not from a client, but from this company.
In the message they stated that they saw I was registered for an event in New Orleans this week and they were also having an event there the next day. They knew I had attended their conference the week before in Charlotte and thought I would want to come back again the next day. My wife looked at me as my face began to get fire red. It really bothered me that this company was using the RSVP list of another event to try and sell theirs. To me, that is a really bad move.
The reason this bothers me so much is that my name was on the #REBCNO list was because we were sponsors of the event. See, Jason & I are big fans of the barcamp movement and like the fact that they are unconference type events where you can learn great information for free. Because we believe in them, we gladly sponsor and help with many of them around the country.
When I got home I sent a tweet out about my displeasure of this network using this poor choice in judgment to try and sell their event by calling other events RSVP list. What shocked me even more was when the CEO replied back to me saying why not? I replied because I didn’t feel it was right to use other lists to try and sell your event.
I then sent out a tweet asking if others had received calls and was instantly met by several others who felt the same way. Some of those responses included:
I was pretty surprised to have gotten the same voicemail especially since I’m not really active on there! I didn’t either & its quite annoying! – Vickie Wyman
Wasn’t sure how they got my info… interesting, but doesn’t make me want to go!- StephanieSells
So for the CEO that asked why, this is the reason why not. People do not like being called for sales pitches for things they did not opt into. If #REBCNO had been partnered with your company and you said you were going to call all the RSVP list trying to sell, that might have been a different story. But since you didn’t have permission to use their list to sell your product I feel it was out of line and not cool.
In the social media world there is such a thing called social capital, or as the whuffie factor as Tara Hunt called it in her book. The reputation you have online is only as good as your last tweet, email, or blog post. Before you begin using poor judgment and calling those who you do not really have permission to call, it is important to weigh the consequences. Personally I think they were not weighed properly this time and the results I feel might be a little more negative than the few extra ticket sales that come about from it.
Next time please have permission to use a list before you begin using it.