I am contacted every day by people looking to develop some type of a business relationship. Sometimes people want to promote my products, sometimes they want to be an affiliate, and other times they want to form some type of joint venture (JV) relationship.
I've seen some very creative ways to capture my attention and I've met some genuinely nice people that I like to work with. Some of them, even though we've never actually done any projects together, I am in contact with regularly because they're great people to network with.
However, what I see more frequently, is people who have gotten very good at simply being annoying. The sad part is they think they are approaching me in the correct manner. They think what they're doing is effective.
I can’t blame them for their behavior in many cases. They are only doing what they think is right or what some self-proclaimed “guru” has told them is the right way to approach people.
In light of that, here are 5 guaranteed ways to irritate a potential JV partner.
1. Sending a private message that just says, “Hi, how are you?"
This might be an appropriate message to send through Facebook or Skype if you are a family member or very close friend. Or even if you're someone who knows I haven't been feeling well lately and is asking a genuinely sympathetic question.
But, to use this as the opening of a dialogue to form some type of business relationship? Especially when I don't know you?
That's just a perfect way to interrupt my workflow and get me flustered.
First off, how do I even know that you are not a phishing scam or a robot?
Assuming you are a real person looking to open a work-related dialogue, how do I even respond to a question like that without sounding rude or short tempered?
When I'm on the computer, I'm usually working. Not always, but usually. There is not time in most cases to respond with, “Great, how are you?" and then engage in a prolonged trivial conversation.
The easier reply for me is, “How can I help you?"
Unfortunately, that is almost the same as, “What do you you want?”
Sounds a little short tempered, doesn't it? That’s not how I usually like to come off, but I don't see a way around it without taking a long break from my workflow.
Believe it or not, this approach actually gets worse sometimes. The very worst offenders ask the original "how are you" question and then never respond after you do, or get back to you a couple of days later.
2. Sending a message that says, "I just created the best product. It’ll make you a ton of money if you promote it.”
There are several things wrong with this approach. The most egregious error is that it assumes the recipient only promotes things to make "a ton of money."
Yes, for many marketers today, conversion and the bottom line is the only criterion needed to send something to their email list. For me, and most of the marketers that I associate with, though, that is only a partial consideration.
First and foremost, the promotion needs to be something that is quality, helpful and appropriate to the target audience.
I have a rule that I never mail anything out to my email lis that t I haven't personally looked at. Many of the marketers that I network with operate the same way.
What makes this method of contact even worse is when the product is something that has nothing to do with anything that my list would ever be interested in.
Did the sender even do any research on the recipient? Probably not. The exact same copy and paste message most likely went out to 200 different marketers.
Unfortunately, chances are if they are broadcasting this message far and wide, they will get some results out of it. What the sender doesn't realize, is that's probably not the type of marketers that they're going to be able to develop a quality, long-term relationship with. They’ll do a few mailings for each other back and forth until they saturated each other's list with the same buyers and then their relationship will end.
Again, I don't blame the sender for their error. This is something that is taught to a lot of newcomers to Internet marketing.
It's just an extremely inappropriate approach. It could be better if they had done their due diligence and research ahead of time. If they knew for fact the recipient would be interested in the solution they have to offer the customer, they would get a better response. However, unless that’s also accompanied by a review copy of the product, it's still a bad approach.
3. Sending an initial contact that says, "I mailed for you, will you mail for me?"
This happens when someone promotes one of your products as an affiliate and then uses that as “leverage” to get you to be an affiliate for them. They assume reciprocity is implied, as if the only interest is to make as much money as you can off your list.
This one's a little trickier, and there are occasions when it can be okay.
Generally, though, the only contact you've had with this person is when they originally asked to be an affiliate.
If a marketer is genuinely concerned with offering quality recommendations that are also useful and helpful to their list, reciprocity is meaningless. Maybe not entirely, but to a degree.
If someone has mailed a promotion for me, I will generally give their offer serious attention, even to the point of stopping what I'm doing to check it out to see if it's a good fit for my list and if it's a quality product.
However, making the assumption that I will do so only because they did the same for me, means they don't know me at all. They haven't done any networking. They haven't done any research. They have no idea who they’re trying to partner with. That's just unfortunate, and probably also due to bad advice.
4. Spamming Facebook Groups
If you belong to a Facebook Group, it is entirely inappropriate to spam the group with your latest promotion or offer. There is only one exception to this: If the group was set up for the members to share offers or affiliate opportunities with each other.
Otherwise, you deserve the ban hammer that's going to drop when you get kicked out of the group. People don't like spammers. As soon as someone gets a reputation for being one, they can say goodbye to any serious long-term JV relationships in the near future.
There's nothing more to say on this one, it's just wrong.
5. Auto adding people to your Facebook Groups.
It seems everyone now has a marketing related Facebook Group. Many of them are legitimate and have been set up for people to network with each other. There will be a post in this blog in the near future that discusses some of the great ones that exist.
Many of them, though, have just been set up as a place for the owner to promote their latest offer and try to develop a channel to let people know about it without having to do any extra work or properly develop relationships.
If a person sets up a Facebook Group, and then auto-add every marketing “friend” they know, they’ve lost the respect of 80% of them, and 100% of the serious, legitimate ones.
It's the serious, legitimate ones that they would have had the potential to develop meaningful, profitable, long-term relationships with had they not acted like a needy child.
Tune In Tomorrow
In tomorrow’s post, we’ll cover better ways to approach potential JV partners that will actually have a chance of starting the relationship off on the right foot.
Do you have any horror stories of people who have reached out to you in less than stellar ways? Have you (like we all have) made any errors in judgment in reaching out to potential JVs? If so, please comment below.
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