Continuously building your business network is necessary. Proactively contacting and introducing yourself to potential partners or clients is useful. However, approaching everybody without any careful ‘profile-relevancy’ check is not only annoying, but also harmful on your brand perception and brand reputation. How do you have these negative consequences and how to avoid them? Here you are a short article with 3 facts and 3 tips. If you want to destroy your brand reputation, of course don’t read this blog. 😉

Past months on different social media channels I got several cold emails from sales representatives who wanted to sell specific IT solutions, ERPs (enterprise resource planning) or other business management software products, which might be good to companies with more complex processes. – Do you know these kinds of emails?

No preconception or judgement, those products must be good, but they are NOT relevant to ME at all and due to this fact I not only ignored those contact requests with a general ‘thanks but not’ answer, but I also had negative feelings against that certain business and the brand itself, because I felt, I was not valued enough to be checked, if those offers might have been indeed relevant to me.

Although those emails were ‘addressed’ to me – my name and the name of my brand were included into the body text – but in the reality they were not.

They contacted me without carefully checking my profile and my business activity, because if they had done it, they would have realized that my business is not a medium or big company which needs such a kind of IT solutions. Or at least the sales message didn’t point out why I would have needed that solution with a smaller business size, what would have been my personal benefit.

And why am I writing about these experiences?

Because these types of emails can not only annoy the certain contacted person, but also create a negative brand perception in him/her, which may have other consequences like:

    • No willingness to test the certain product in the future either, when it could be already relevant, since the negative experience from the past will have a negative influence in the future.
    • Little / No willingness to recommend that product to anybody else either due to the negative taste of first impression.
    • A negative brand reputation could be created and spread by sharing this annoying experience with friends or business contacts. You know, bad experiences are more likely to be shared across different social circles. According to several researches 80% or even 95% of people who have had a bad experience tell someone about it.

Here you are 3 tips on how to avoid these negative consequences by using my specific example:

    • Include some real personalized sentences which can prove that you indeed checked my profile and point out why I would need that solution with a smaller business size, as an ‘early-stage user’ what would be my benefit.
    • Specify those benefits instead of writing general messages like “develop your business” or “improve efficiency”.
    • If the first two ‘benefit-offer’ options are not possible, but you want to be in touch with me and take the advantage of my business network, ask me to recommend your solution to others like “as I see, your clients and business partners are startups and small/medium size businesses, so if you see any relevancy, I would really appreciate, if you could recommend us…” Btw. it might work in my case, as I am always open to suggest a new good solution to my clients.

So, before sending any cold sales emails, it’s worthwhile to spend some time to learn more about the potentially targeted person and to pay attention to the personalization, otherwise a wrongly targeted email could be not only annoying, but also damaging on brand perception and brand reputation.

What is your experience in this topic? What would you add to the above lists?