How to Offend and Alienate the People Around You

Ever wonder how not to respond after meeting someone at an event? I recently attended a class on networking. I repeat, a class on networking.

Exchanged cards with a few people and practiced the things we learned.  Afterward I sent follow-up emails. Here is a transcript of one email exchange that went very bad, very quickly. Names, and other details, have been changed to protect the innocent – I changed anything that may identify the person and company with whom I communicated.

Initial E-Mail

It was great speaking with you and an honor to meet anyone associated with (COMPANY NAME). Congrats on (SPECIAL EVENT). Did you officially (WIN AN AWARD)?
How can I help? What top three game-changing things can I do for you?

Response from CEO of (COMPANY NAME)

(PERSON I MET) passed me this as he was unsure of how to respond.
I have a simple response, we don’t even know what you do. Get a clue and stop wasting our time.
My team has things to do, not pander with someone who wants to do game changing things for us when they know nothing about us.  
Don’t contact us any further and do yourself a favor and don’t be the guy handing out your business card like candy and writing emails like this, have some substance.

And of course my response, and final email

Wow! Figure I’d write one email to clear things up. This is my last email so no worries.

Couple of things
(PERSON I MET) and I met at a networking event specifically designed to introduce people.

(PERSON I MET) handed me his card, written in pen, on blank card stock. I did not hand him a card.

I offered to help. The only responses to such an email are the following:
Thank you. We are all set for now!
Much appreciated. Let’s have lunch (or a call) to discuss.

I regret you responded as such and hope we can find a way to assist each other in the future.

Don’t ever make the same mistake, especially when I’m the one contacting you. 🙂

DON’T – Offend and Alienate the people around you and Make sure you never get their business again.


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