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‘Friends’ Without Facebook –DeWese

May 2011

I want all of you to give me your closest attention. This announcement is really important!

I have quit Facebook! I bet you don't know another person who ever quit Facebook. I'm using this column to say goodbye to all my "friends" on Facebook.

I wanna make this clear. We are still friends! I just no longer want to read about your trips to the grocery store or your grandma's birthday party. I'm no big shot. I just don't have the time to keep up with junior's Little League batting average or his sister's soccer goals.

I'm not saying that you should quit Facebook. If you sell printing, I encourage you to be an avid Facebook participant, as well as a member of all the other social network sites. You need to know as much information as possible about your customers and prospects. You need to show a genuine interest in their Beef Bourguignon and the Book of the Month for their reading clubs.

The key thing to remember here, however, is that your "posts" should contain about 80 percent fewer words than theirs. It's no different than making a sales call. The customer should talk 80 percent of the time and you should talk the remaining 20 percent. Do you really want clients who have "friended" you thinking that you spend a lot of your time on the Internet?

While I'm on the subject of social networking, never agree or disagree with a customer's political posts, or any controversial post, for that matter. If Barry Bonds, Charlie Sheen or Dr. Phil come up, just let your opinions go. Pretend you were disconnected from the Internet that day.

Oh, I just received an e-mail from Facebook. They want me back. They are telling me, "Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life."

Well, anyway, I still want to be your friend; so call me if you want to talk. I never refuse a phone call. Or, shoot me an e-mail or mail me a letter in care of the magazine. I always answer e-mails and letters from readers, and I sure get a lot of 'em. The next thing I write will be a response to a young man who sent me about 400 words.

He needs to relocate a great distance with his wife and children to find a job near his mother-in-law, who is suffering from an incurable disease, and to help with a special-needs sister-in-law. He's been in the industry since age 15—a total of more than 24 years—working various jobs, starting as a pressman and on up to plant manager.



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