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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- Understand how to ethically recruit. Start here.
- 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.
Photo Credit: Lara604