Faking Kindness: How NOT to Build Relationships in Marketing

I received the message below through my LinkedIn account on my birthday this year...

This type of message is not alone. There are many like it that I and others receive on a regular basis. These messages are a plague of the "Internet is easy" marketing that we see all too often these days.

The worst part is how many marketers believe this to be a suitable form of relationship-building. Look at how quickly Paul jumps from trying to establish a rapport with me to clearly starting in on some kind of pitch. He probably thinks it isn't all that obvious and that he's being clever by at least sending the message on my birthday with the date so established.

People can smell disingenuous behavior from miles away when it comes to building a relationship, especially if it is leading to some kind of business relationship (making a sale, sending/receiving referrals, etc).

Look, I'm okay with someone being upfront with their offer - though social media is the wrong forum for it outside of actual ads. I don't mind receiving emails to which I have opted in with offers or direct mail that wants to sell me something. What I cannot abide is trying to sidle up to me as a "pal" just to make me an offer. It's just plain bad marketing to the point of almost being offensive.

Are You Making the Same Mistake as Paul?

Are you too guilty of jumping the gun in building relationships? It's okay. It happens to all of us. You just need to remember that relationships are built over time.

Paul may have managed to get somewhere with me by sending me a simple birthday message saying, "Hey Charley, happy birthday! I noticed your birthday since you're in my LinkedIn network, but I realized that I don't know all that much about what you do. I'd like to change that. I see you work at Great Legal Marketing. I'm guessing you work with attorneys. Are you consultants? What does Great Legal Marketing do? Wish you the best in business, Paul"

Paul would be telling the truth with the above message. He wouldn't be jumping the gun, and he would be making the conversation about me (talking only about what you do is a major mistake). If I responded, he could message me back with a little bit of information about what he does and find a way to transition into the Bitcoin part. It's not perfect, but it would be better. Honestly, his best choice would be to tell me that he found the address for GLM online and would like to send me information about Bitcoin in the mail. Moving the conversation offline is always a smart choice!

Relationships don't happen just by snapping your fingers. You build relationships. Building requires time and resources.

The good news about well-built relationships is that they yield much greater results than casually tossing out messages. If Paul spent more time cultivating a few potentially valuable relationships and less time trying to make thin connections, he would likely end up with a lot more money in his pocket.

All of this applies to your own relationships, including referral sources, your employees, vendors, and people who generally help out you and/or your practice.

Other Information for You:

Charley Mann
Charley is the Chief Marketing Officer at Great Legal Marketing and believes in results, Results, RESULTS!