How NOT to Do Business

Lilly Cantabile/PixabayThe following is a transcript resulting from a connection request I recently received to do business. Names have been changed to put the focus on the poor behavior. In other words, the “who” isn’t important; the “what,” and especially the “when” (a.k.a. the time stamps), are.

December 9, 2019, 6:00 p.m.: Connection request sent from Bob to Diane. Moments later, Bob clicks a button to follow Diane’s business page on Facebook.

December 9, 7:21 p.m.: Diane sees and accepts connection request, based on Bob being in the same networking business group as Diane, and Bill being in an intriguing business that seems promising for gaining some new clients. Diane replies:

Hi Bob: thanks for reaching out. You’re a fellow member, yes? If you’re coming to the event tomorrow, let’s make a point to get a few minutes to talk.

One hour later, Bob replies:

I’m going. What company are you with?

Those last five words told me everything I needed to know about Bob’s level of professionalism. Two and a half hours after he reaches out to me, he doesn’t remember who I am or what company I represent. He doesn’t even bother to refresh his memory. I’ve seen this game before: He was trolling the networking group for connections.

But, deciding to take the high road, I reply with my company name, to which he replies, “see you tomorrow,” with a link to his company’s Facebook page, adding, “if you want to be involved in professional selling events.”

I click over to the page. The poor grammar, spelling, and punctuation deepens my gut instinct that it’s not wise to do business with this person. Unfortunately, since we’re attending the same event the next evening, I know he’ll seek me out. So, I decide to hear him out if he approaches me.

He does… bashing the event we’re attending and talking about how great his events are. He leaves me with a promotional flyer… which doesn’t contain his email, only a general phone number for consumers interested in attending the event.

The morning of December 11, after finally finding a Yahoo address for Bob buried on his business Facebook page, I send a polite email declining his offer, stating simply that the events aren’t the right fit for me.

The week of December 16, Bob sends a direct message to my business Facebook page, inquiring about whether I want to sign up. I reply, “Perhaps you should check your email,” adding the date of the response. He replies, “Great,” adding that if I’ve signed up for the next event, I’m all set and that it will be a good experience.

That same week: Bob sends a direct message to my business Facebook page again, a generic cold-call message inviting me to participate in events through his company. Gut instinct reconfirmed… I decide not to waste my breath or time on a response.

Time passes… until today:

January 15, 2020, 10:41 a.m.: Bob writes (and I have copied his note word for word, with no corrections):

Sorry I can’t help get you clients you would have done well with the limited amount of competition and the serious nature of our engaged couples attending both searching and booking the services on hand. But then the door opens for someone else who is more in need of filling dates and getting hired. But I did offer and that’s all I can do. Best of Luck with whatever direction you go ! you have my number when you need my events

My response? None. No need to stoop to a level I was never at in the first place.

Leave a Reply