Thursday, July 18, 2013

A straight pitch?

Today I received the following email (personal identifiers removed):
Ariella,

As you may know, in my capacity as Chief Marketing Guy for The __ __ Project, I help facilitate networking meetings for professionals who are members of ___ with other professionals who I am connected with on LinkedIn and in other networks.
There is a ___ member named ___, [She] is looking to meet and network with (NOT sell to) other professional business women who are serious about their businesses and careers. I was wondering if I can make an introduction and facilitate a networking meeting between the two of you.
Let me know.
Make it a wonderful day. 

I responded that I would just send an invitation to connect on LI, which I did (though I then discovered that the person was there twice, having failed to remove her old profile). I got this response to that:
Ok cool.

Would you be interested in us setting up a meeting  between the two of you?
I declined that honor because I really don't favor in-person meetings. 

He didn't like that and tried to still persuade me by saying, "Really? Why is that? They are extremely effective. I have meetings multiple times a week, and thus grow my network effectively and successfully."

Well, good for him. I happen to be connected to over 1300 people and organizations online, though I've only met a small handful of them. And some people I've taken the time to meet have proven to be a huge waste of my time.  
 I wrote back:
 "Just a matter of personal preference. I don’t mind talking on the phone, and I’ve found it works just as well." 

He finally dropped the matter. The fact that he was so keen on the meeting, though, makes me suspect that the woman he was contacting was not just trying to meet other professionals but to try to sell her services to them. That is what she does professionally, marketing.  And that would make the original claim that said "(NOT sell to) false." In fact, likely that's what he was being paid to do, procure prospective clients for her under the guise of setting up networking.

What makes this even more suspect is that the guy who claims he loves meetings hasn't even met the person he's promoting! I sent her a message about the pitch via LinkedIn and she said that someone else at the same organization is trying to set up a meeting between him and her. Hmm...