I responded to a post in a Facebook group and I thought the point was important enough to carry over to here.  The statement was made that you should not friend people just to sell them on social networking sites such as Facebook. 

My reply:

I’d like to take a crack at this if you don’t mind. To some marketers – Social Platforms are the new bright shiny thing that they all have to get into, blast around and build connections from. The point that most miss are – if you don’t take the time to know that I am looking for a blue sweater and you are trying to sell me red pants – I am going to be offended, bothered by the interaction and see no use in building a relationship with you.

If, on the other hand, you take the time, say hi, shake my hand, and ask what I need help with, share your insights and knowledge – learn what it is that I may need then ask if you can be of service… you will get a totally different result.

We are talking about the difference in push vs. pull marketing. Push marketing is television commercials, radio ads, print ads and online pitches. They come at us usually without our consent to throw a product or service in our face. The pull marketing method is slow, it builds, and the “prospect” is always in control. You can read the blog or not, you can thumb through the posts or not, you can ask questions or not and if you see value in what is being offered you can approach to buy (or not). Totally different mentality and technique. Far less invasive and while it takes longer to build a relationship then “make a sale” you end up with a long term customer instead of a hit and run.