Stop Spamming Your Opportunity!

Yesterday I received a note through Facebook from a direct seller who had just been approached about a business opportunity by a rep with another company. The person who was pitching the opportunity mentioned that she had found the gal through me. (!!!) Apparently this individual had gone through my Facebook Page and scraped the names of people on that Page. She then proceeded to spam each one through Facebook Messages, asking them to join her opportunity.

By the way, I should note that when I reached out to this individual to ask her to stop, she said she knew the gal she reached out to from another company, and only got her contact info from my Page. Not sure why she didn’t share this connection instead of my name/page in the first place, but to be fair I share her side with you.

There is so much wrong with this, but there are just a few points I want to make today.

  1. Do not make it sound like someone has recommended an opportunity if they haven’t. When you’re found out, you’ve lost any credibility you might have had. (And by the way, I NEVER recommend one opportunity over another. I think they’re all great, but I’m company neutral, due to my position in the industry. And I especially never condone poaching one organization’s consultants into a different company. This is unethical behavior, and I find it appalling.)
  2. If you don’t know someone, they HAVE NOT GIVEN YOU PERMISSION TO SEND THEM MESSAGES ABOUT YOUR OPPORTUNITY. Really, haven’t we understood that by now? You are breaking spam laws when you send that kind of message. You MAY NOT send business messages without permission. If you don’t know someone, you don’t have permission. PERIOD.
  3. Don’t collect names from other Facebook Pages and Profiles. Facebook is about personal connections. People are typically highly suspicious when they get friend requests from people they don’t know. If you want to connect with new people, have a conversation with them in a public place first, and then send them a friend request with a note. (And as an aside, don’t just accept a friend request because I am a mutual friend. I am connected to a lot of direct sellers and don’t know them all personally. Make sure you know who it is you’re accepting.)
  4. Understand how to ethically recruit. Start here.
  5. It is every direct selling company’s responsibility to ensure that their salesforce understands how to market appropriately online. While I understand that there will be the odd person who may not comply when training is in place, when an entire salesforce is engaging in this type of behavior, it’s the company’s fault, and they need to fix it ASAP.

If you want to find new people to join your team online, then invest the time to get to know people. Do not just send out random messages about your opportunity to people who don’t know you. I am seeing WAY too much of this lately and it has got to stop. It’s making the industry as a whole look bad.

It’s up to each of us to police ourselves and the people on our teams. And it’s up to companies to put into place the proper training and compliance monitoring. Don’t let this kind of thing spiral out of control. It will come back to bite all of us.

Your thoughts?

Photo Credit: Lara604

12 Responses to Stop Spamming Your Opportunity!
  1. Charles Holmes
    September 13, 2011 | 11:53 am


    You are spot on here. I hate when people spam me on Facebook and other sites.

    In fact, people shouldn’t pitch their business to anyone. Instead, they should take the time to learn how to “postion” themselves right, so people will approach them! That’s the essence of attraction marketing.

    At the rate things are going now, I wouldn’t be shocked if Facebook one day bans all direct sales people. I hate to say it, but we might be headed down that path.

    By the way, great blog you got here. This was my first time here. I will come back more often. Thanks.

    Charles Holmes recently posted..Sep 13, Marketing MLM Leads

  2. Nancy Eichin
    April 7, 2011 | 8:08 am

    As always, thank you for sharing such awesome and helpful information. I am sending this to as many network marketers as I can think of!

  3. Donald Higby
    April 6, 2011 | 11:20 pm

    Given the information you provided, I would most certainly have to agree with you. Let’s all be responsible.

  4. Nivia L. Di Vincenzo
    April 6, 2011 | 9:04 pm

    Hi Jen!

    I am super grateful for all of the info and value you provide here. I recently created a Facebook Page for my business and am working to understand what’s appropriate and what isn’t Although, I have never done and have no intention of doing what you described here.

    I don’t know if you can answer this question here or if you can direct me to a blog post of yours that might be helpful, I wanted to know if it is okay to let people know in a status post that I now have a page for my business and ask them to “like” my page. I also sent friend suggestions as well, but only to people I have shared my business with or they are already using
    the products. Any feedback on this would be appreciated! (And at this rate I have already done so, I would just like to know for future reference)


  5. Ann Odle
    April 6, 2011 | 12:09 pm

    Well said! I found out that someone had done the same thing to some of my contacts–one of my friends called and asked who the person was; otherwise I would never have known.
    My friend thought I had given her name out and was miffed too. I have since dropped this “friend” from my Face book list!
    Ann Odle recently posted..Ultimate Blog Party 2011

  6. Adeline Terry
    April 6, 2011 | 11:41 am

    You are so, so right. There is a lot of this going around right now. If someone is credible and knows how to build a team they shouldn’t be interested in spamming others even if it wasn’t illegal. Direct sellers, learn how to share and attract others to your team and you won’t even think of this.This business is all about building relationships.

    By the way Jennifer I love, love your blog. I can’t wait to see what you post every day!

    Have A Wonderful Week,

  7. Amy Spairana
    April 6, 2011 | 9:16 am

    I’ve never done this kind of thing, and I’m not condoning it. However, I don’t see the big deal. SPAM is basically a part of our online lives. That’s what the delete button is for. Most of us direct sellers know not to behave in this way, and those who don’t aren’t going to care what you say or what the etiquette is. So I say, bless and release, move on and don’t waste time worrying about these types of people or emails.

    • Jennifer Fong
      April 6, 2011 | 9:18 am

      Here’s the big deal Amy. 1) It’s ILLEGAL. The CAN-SPAM act in the US, along with legislation in other countries, specifically prohibits this type of unsolicited contact. 2) It gives the industry as a whole a bad name. Someone might choose not to sign up for an opportunity due to the illegal actions of another person. And others might point to it as a reason that the industry as a whole is bad news. While you might be able to deal with a spam message or two, it’s bigger than any individual.

    • Nancy Eichin
      April 7, 2011 | 8:11 am

      This is simply annoying as well. We are in the Relationship Marketing business. Simply spamming other people’s friends is not building relationships. All it does is make the person doing it look like they are desperate and too lazy to take the time to get to know the people they want to work with. Who would want to work with someone like that?!

  8. Trini
    April 6, 2011 | 9:05 am

    That’s not just annoying, rude and disrespectful it is darn right wrong, not to mention some DS companies have Policies against this that have serious consequences. Thanks for always posting great blogs.

  9. Paul Young
    April 6, 2011 | 9:03 am

    This times 100! No matter how good an opportunity or offer is, if the initial delivery of it is “creepy”, that offering is forever tainted in my mind.
    Paul Young recently posted..Clouds- Crayons- and SaaS

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