Saturday, November 24, 2007

Do You Dump?

Okay, how was Black Friday? For those of you not in the US, that is the dubious name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving. I think it refers to what the merchants hope they will be "in" at day's end (as opposed to red ink meaning a loss.) I am not a Black Friday shopper -- so I can't tell you anything about it.

What I do want to talk about is the garbage dump.

No, I am not talking about the town dump, where the scraps of dinner might be thrown. No, not that. What I am talking about the the practice of giving a new networking acquaintance every marketing piece you have about your company in one fell swoop.

Now, let's think about why it is not such a good idea.

First of all, from a marketing point of view, if you give it all at once, you have no reason to go back.

Second, with a thick folder of information, you may overwhelm this new acquaintance to not read any of it -- that is, overwhelming them to inaction.

Third, most people don't have time to sit for many minutes just with your stuff. They will quickly pick out what they need and throw the rest away.

Fourth, doing the garbage dump says that you don't care about the needs of this specific person, that "one size fits all." Don't I feel special????

This week at a networking event, a guest brought such a folder. There were 24 sheets of paper and five, glossy, four-color magazines inside this folder. This person happened to be an advertising representative for a local newspaper. Finally, I found the rate sheet and threw the rest away. Then I opened the rate sheet and it was so complicated that I could not figure it out. That, also, was pitched.

So here's the deal. If you want to attract me, make it simple, short, efficient and non-wasteful. Otherwise, you'll be filed in the trash can.

While I don't totally understand the DISC personality measurement technique, my friend Deanna Tucci Schmitt, Executive Director of BNI Western Pennsylvania, would say that my reaction is probably because I am a high D. So I guess there might be people out there who represent other letters in the DISC theory that would read all that stuff. But it's your job to figure out who those people are and are not!

Do you like it when networking acquaintances give you the dump?

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