This weekend I posted about a product from a direct selling company that I used to make something I purchased from this company. Since I work with the company and have provided a lot of training for them, I am friends with many of the company’s consultants on my personal Facebook Page. There were many comments on what I made, most from this company’s consultants. That was great.
But then a family member of mine entered into the conversation. She asked me what product I used, since she had been looking for the same type of product. Now I have to give the consultants credit…no one pounced in public. But my family member was suddenly inundated with messages and friend requests from this company’s consultants, looking to sell her the product. She sent me a private message through Facebook that read:
Holy Cow! one question gets me an onslaught of consultant messages! LOL
I deleted her question and quietly referred her to my own consultant if she was interested in the product.
So now that we’ve mastered avoiding the pounce in public, let’s discuss some of the finer points, and what went wrong here.
- The question was directed to me. She wasn’t asking to be sold. She was asking me what I used. This didn’t give license for everyone to private message her.
- In this situation, I clearly already had a consultant, since I had made a purchase. It was up to me who I would refer her to.
- MANY consultants from this company commented on my post. It would have been helpful for everyone to take a step back and say to themselves, “If I message her, probably many others will as well. And that could turn the customer off.”
Now maybe the situation was a bit different here because I am friends with so many consultants from this particular company. But truly in any situation, you must consider whether or not the customer could be inundated with private messages. It’s the same reason that companies don’t want you to pounce on a customer looking for something on the company Facebook Page. They instead refer that customer to the consultant locator. This ensures that the customer gets connected to a local consultant, and that the customer doesn’t feel pounced on.
So what should these consultants have done?
They should have let me answer the question. And since I already have a consultant, they should have let me send my family member there if she was interested in the product.
It all comes down to respect. It can feel like the “wild, wild west” when we all have access to the same people. But you still have to respect the fact that certain people have certain claims. In a person-to-person situation, if a family member had asked me about a product she was interested in, I would have referred her to my consultant. It would be rude for many consultants from the same company to all try to get her business because they overheard the conversation. The same rules apply.
Now I’m not trying to “slap” anyone here. I just don’t want you all to scare customers away! So think about what you would do in a person-to-person situation, and let those same rules guide your online interactions. Let’s make sure a situation like this never happens again.
Image credit: Photo Farmer