Are You Stealing Customers On the Company Facebook Page?

Most direct sales and network marketing company Facebook Pages have a policy that states that you’re not allowed to solicit customers for your personal business there. It just makes sense. First, if a number of consultants all jump onto a post by a customer it makes the customer feel overwhelmed, and scares them off. But it can also cause bad blood between consultants.

Case in point, this morning I saw a post by a consultant on a company’s Facebook Page (whether it should have been posted there or taken up internally is the subject of another post) complaining that she’d been assigned a lead by the company, but when she called to follow up, the customer had already booked the party with another consultant who had contacted her through the Facebook Page. Even though it’s specifically against company policy to contact customers this way.

And of course that consultant was upset. She followed the rules, and lost a party because someone else didn’t. Bad form.

Think about how you would feel if it happened to you. Yes, we’re all in business for ourselves. But we’re also creating a company culture that should lift others in the business. Taking business out from under a fellow consultant creates a culture of negativity that no one wants.

Don’t promote your own business on the company Facebook Page, or try to solicit customers there. If someone is looking for a consultant, send them to the channels your company has set up for this type of request. But don’t steal business from people following the rules. It just makes you look bad, and undermines the ethics this business is built on.

Your thoughts?

7 Responses to Are You Stealing Customers On the Company Facebook Page?
  1. Jan Pittard
    March 27, 2012 | 12:37 am

    Hi, our company really does follow through on this through both of their pages on fb. People are pretty good about sending them to the home website page and doing a search through that.

    I really like this blog post, our actions do impact other people.

  2. Tanya
    September 1, 2011 | 9:51 pm

    I always try to think about how I would feel in a situation. A bunch of consultants acting like vultures is only going to leave a bad taste in my mouth about the whole company, and personally, I would probably choose not to deal with them at all! I’d prefer to get a good recommendation from a friend for a consultant, and choose to conduct myself (as a consultant) accordingly! When it comes to Facebook (and ‘real life’ meetings), I believe good advice with the customers need in mind always pay off! Better to steer the customer towards the company website (or process for tracking down a consultant) than to chase them away completely!
    Tanya recently posted..Ask Tanya…

  3. Jill Coleman
    August 31, 2011 | 2:08 pm

    Amen and amen. We need to be a “class act” at all times.
    Jill Coleman recently posted..Summer Is Ending In More Ways Than One!

  4. Pat Zahn
    August 31, 2011 | 12:14 pm

    Bad form, indeed. I wonder if there is any hesitation in the offending Consultant. Does she/he even take one moment to think, “I wonder if I should do this…” I’m surprised it was successful for her. What if a number of Consultants did the same thing – this would appear to the customer like a bunch of vultures moving in on the prey (which I think happened to you some time ago, right Jen?) Now, what would be the correct response if a customer goes on the company FB page and asks for a Consultant to contact her?
    Pat Zahn recently posted..What is Digital Scrapbooking?

    • Jennifer Fong
      September 1, 2011 | 11:34 am

      It is specific to the company, but typically it involves sending that customer to the consultant finder on the corporate website.

  5. christy
    August 30, 2011 | 2:15 pm

    I agree. The company facebook page is a place to create a community and excitement so that those people will follow the proper channels and be placed in the manner the company has set up. If they become a lead, it is a the leader’s responsibility to do what is best for the new customer.

  6. NooraK
    August 30, 2011 | 12:13 pm

    I wish that my company would take your blog post and send it via email to every single consultant, like they do with other important information. Then again, there will still be people out there who will either remain ignorant of the rules, or willingly disregard them.

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