Vendors, Stop “Sharing Leads”

Friday, 15 June 2007 at 3:06 am Pacific USA Time.

The day before the eBay Live! convention opened, I was on the show floor working on my booth. One of the other vendors/exhibitors asked me if after the show, I wanted to swap lists. At first, I didn’t know what he meant. Then, it hit me.

He wanted me to give him all the data from the people who came to my booth and were interested, and he would give me the people who came to his booth and were interested. I said a huge NO, and told him I will never share people’s information like that unless they expressly give me permission. Here is why this makes no sense:

1) Spamming people really doesn’t work, and this is a target audience that especially hates that.

2) His company does NOTHING like what my company does. People interested in him may not be interested in us, and vice versa. So it’s not like his leads are my potential leads.

3) That just seems like bad form… taking people’s info with them assuming ONLY you would use it, and then sharing it without letting them know that. I don’t like when this is done to me… why would I do it to anybody else?

I didn’t think much of this until a guy came into my booth yesterday not wearing his badge. Wouldn’t even SHOW me his badge. Why not? Last year, he said he ended up on HEAPS of mailing lists, including for vendors he didn’t visit. He was really pissed off about that, and had decided to not even SHOW his badge to any vendor. He gave me his name and phone number since he was interested in what we do, but wouldn’t let me scan his badge.

What a shame! What a shame that we are so desperate for business that we’re willing to sell out strangers to try to push ourselves on other strangers. What a shame that we don’t believe that the right clients will find us at the right time without us doing something that I think is unethical.

So everybody coming to my booth should know that I NEVER sell, rent, share, distribute, publish, or otherwise give your information to anybody outside of my company. No other vendors, no "internet marketers," no mailing lists. I take your information and privacy very seriously since that’s how I would want mine treated.

You can read blog posts from the convention over in the News blog.

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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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