Seth Godin recently made a post where he noted that while at one time asking someone for a favor involved a personal, one-to-one appeal, email lists and databases have made it easy to make a more impersonal appeal to a broader range of people.
While you may be thinking that posts about the evils of spam is so early oughts, there is a distinction in that a lot of spam is delivered to people with whom the sender has little, if any type of relationship. Godin is noting that technology has made it easier to degrade more established relationships.
If you ask 100 people for a favor to “get the word out,” then of course you don’t care so much if 80 or 90 people decline. The problem is that you’ve just hurt the relationship you had with these people (as thin as it was) as well as made it more difficult for the next person, the one who actually put some effort and care into making a connection.
The honest first line of the programmatic ask is, “I’m using you to get what I want right now, because I didn’t plan ahead, care enough or show up with enough generosity to do it the old way.”
Just because you are in a hurry, know how to use mailmerge and have figured out how to hustle people doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.
At the risk of sounding stupid for stating the obvious that the post-Covid world has new expectations, there are signs that a lot of people didn’t get that message and are returning to their offices, dusting off their desks, starting their computers and picking up where they left off.
Do me a favor and get the word out?