Seen-zoned Hurts More Than Rejection on Facebook

To all my friends on Facebook,

I know it can be very annoying when someone messages you about a product or service they are offering, but please have the decency (or maybe guts) to respond.

Reject if you must, but do not ignore. Block if you must, but do not stay silent.

Trust me, I have had my share of countless messages from strangers, messages ranging from a cheap instant-whitening-pimple-erasing-weight-loss pill to expensive luxurious condominiums I know I would never afford. Maybe not until later.

You see, with the advent of technology, it’s so much easier to use FB and other social media platforms to reach out to potential customers. I know, I know, while some of us use this medium sensibly, many others simply abuse it.

Imagine receiving 10 photos of something followed by a description that seems like an essay, right?

That’s not a good way to introduce a product or service, and I have received many of that as well. At times, I ignore, but I usually end up saying no thanks to them directly. Sometimes, I simply unfriend or block after letting them know I do not need their services at this time.

But many of us, though, still are courteous enough to engage you in a discussion about your needs. Sales people usually refer to this as “needs analysis.” And if you feel that after a short discussion you don’t need whatever is being offered, politely reject. It is at this time you can choose to block or unfriend.

But if you feel this person was very sensible and could potentially be an “ally” in the future, keep them as friends. Who knows, they may have something useful to offer in the future. And who knows, it may be you will be offering them something as well.

I bet you have a friend or family member who is also into sales. Trust me, they also have to prospect and try to find customers all the time. It’s tiring and can be “toxic,” especially with numerous rejections and quotas on a daily basis. If not a friend or family member, then the company you work for has to sell something, and that’s where we get our salary, right?

We live in a world where people have become so cold to each other, and it’s so much easier to just ignore or seen-zone someone, but trust me, it’s a much better world out there when we turn that seen-zone into a direct “no.” If you have a minute, engage and discuss. But if you feel you have no time at all, just say no, not at this time.

Better yet, say no, and UNFRIEND.  Or even BLOCK.

When you do this, you end up with three benefits:

1. You clean up your friends’ list and get fewer spammy messages.
2. You helped a “salesperson” move on more quickly.
3. You became more warm and professional.

And don’t worry, we won’t take offense if you say NO directly or even UNFRIEND OR BLOCK. Well, maybe a few will, but the true professionals simply move on.

And to all the “salespersons” out there, let’s be better when sending messages. Engage more sensibly. Be more courteous. Be a better listener.

Sales and Marketing Techniques Workshop

I have conducted several sales and marketing workshops over the years through the company I co-founded, American Institute for English Proficiency; however, many of these workshops revolved around the core service, which is English and communication skills.  When a client wanted to have language skills training and found out that I am also into sales and marketing, they would ask me to create specific English and communication modules related to sales and marketing.  In the English language training world, we call that ESP or “English for a Specific Purpose.”

I have always been involved in sales and marketing.  I can trace it back all the way to when I auditioned for a theater group back in the eight grade; I suppose that is a kind of sales pitch, isn’t it?  And right at the end of the ninth grade in high school, I ran for class president and won.  I did several campaigning strategies, so I suppose that is some kind of marketing as well, right?  From leading school organizations to being in debate and speech competitions, I have always done some form of persuading, be it in oral or written form, which is what sales and marketing is all about.  And for 12 years, I had been the general manager and head of sales and marketing for the company I co-founded.  And after college, I moved to Las Vegas where I became branch manager for one Fortune 500 company and a staffing manager for another Fortune 500 company, both of which involved lots of sales and marketing; and before I came to the Philippines, I was a sales and marketing director within a market territory for yet another Fortune 500 company.

Business Development, Sales, and Marketing Workshop

Participants of my first ever Sales and Marketing + Business Development Workshop

As a result, I have gained so many invaluable experiences and lessons through the years.  I have not only implemented successful sales and marketing strategies but have also committed lots of errors that taught me greatly.  And when I was hungry for more, I sought trainings and related workshops to help me augment my skills.

Last September 23, 2018, I finally decided to momentarily veer off from my normal English and communication training and shared what I had learned in sales and marketing as well as business development throughout the years.  I had been so familiar with conducting English proficiency, public speaking, grammar, writing, business correspondence, and other English related topics.  I had been working with major local and national corporations as a corporate trainer.  This time, I wanted to take a leap into conducting training for a totally different topic because I wanted to grow.  I wanted to go beyond what I thought I could do.  I had been feeling that I had reached a stagnant point in my training career, and to have a foray in another topic, course, or module would make life more challenging once more.  I needed to be awakened.

Chris, Kassy, and Ben

So for one day in September, after all the years of doing sales and marketing myself for the companies I worked for and the company I co-founded, I was finally able to help others who needed to improve their skills.  What was even more fulfilling was that there were a few struggling entrepreneurs who attended the event because they wanted to have a specific feedback on what they were doing and what they were not doing well.  I also realized that the way I conducted the training was quite similar to how I normally conduct my English and communication skills training: fun, engaging, dynamic, and critical all at the same time.  I like to have a mix of value and entertainment.

I covered several topics including branding, social media marketing, guerrilla marketing, corporate narrative, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and best practices in customer service and handling sales objections.  I also invited a few guests who covered different topics: Kassy Pajarillo who discussed the power of using LinkedIn as a marketing tool, Ben Francia who discussed website development and Google marketing techniques, and Jon Oliquino who covered current industry practices in sales.  It was an awesome day of collaborative efforts.

Overall, it was so worthwhile venturing into the world of sales and marketing.  The feedback I received was overwhelming.  The participants were able to get all of these learnings for free; two participants actually gave Php 500 each because they felt that it would help cover at least the facility use.  One participant even mentioned that the training he had gotten in his company in the last nine months he was with them paled in comparison to what he learned from the day’s session with me and my guests.

I will definitely be conducting another training, so if you are interested, make sure you follow me on my social media accounts and visit my website again soon and be on the look out for more details.