Maybe I haven’t seen you in a while and I just want to say “hi”. Maybe I have a question. Maybe we met at an HR event and hit it off and exchanged business cards and I want to follow-up. Maybe we did business together a long time ago and I want to get back in touch. Maybe I’m offering a workshop on a subject we once discussed and I want to tell you about it.
Normally I would just e-mail you to get back in touch, but not sure if that’s appropriate. Should I e-mail you? Would you prefer if I call you first and ask permission to e-mail you? How do I know which you prefer?
If you consider yourself to be a networker, these are important questions to ask yourself in the new world of CASL–Canada’s anti-spam legislation.
The truth is, the longer time passes, the less I actually like the invasiveness of the telephone. Unlike e-mail filters, I have to screen calls manually. In the world of e-mail, I received fewer calls so the periodic intrusion wasn’t so terrible. That said, there’s a chance if you call me out of the blue without something super specific to ask, I might not return your call right away. Not because I dislike you, but because it seems such a bother to pick up the phone and hit redial over something small. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m busy and it seems to take four times longer to make a phone call.
For people like me who live their lives networking, trying to keep up connections, trying to find a place in the “new normal” with anti-spam legislation in effect feels impossible, and we are only a few days in. I suddenly feel like a sales person, when in reality I like to keep in contact with people I like, and from time-to-time this results in business. (BTW–some of my very best friends are sales people, and I mean no disrespect to them).
Helping people find employment requires networking. Helping me find projects requires networking. Networking is a pay it forward adventure but it has a commercial nature to its process. To interact via e-mail makes CASL compliance complicated. Some people have provided me with consent to connect, but some haven’t yet, many in part because they don’t understand that such consent is required for me to send them an e-mail.
Yes, I fully realize that there is a grace period, where there is implied consent on some existing contacts, but I’m not taking chances over the confusion.
For networkers out there, I feel like the next few months are going to be about reconnecting with people who are valuable contacts and ensuring that you have their permission to keep in touch with them. There are some positives because it will help to understand who is really a friend and who isn’t.
Meanwhile, do you know me? Do you mind getting an e-mail from me from time-to-time? If yes, you’ll somehow have to let me know that. I promise to use that consent appropriately, and you can always unsubscribe if you find me undesirable.
Welcome to the new normal.