I’ve thought long and hard about writing this post. I feel that I’ve been let down by someone on the very outskirts of my Personal Network – but it’s still disappointing (maybe I’m just too sensitive).
Regular readers of the blog will know that I’ve read and reviewed two books by Keith Ferrazzi – and more recently created a post talking about and recommending a free webinar he was offering to preview his Executive Relationship Management Course.
Well since, the point of recommendation, I feel that I’ve been spammed. I’m not bothered for myself – but I feel let down that I’ve recommended and passed on my trust to others (and if they’ve signed up, they might feel spammed too). I’ve had messages like:-
-> Emergency…Keith is going nuts on the webinar…
-> Okay, so maybe we miscalculated…maybe a LOT…
-> Don’t you need more sales and bigger revenues?
-> Your last, last chance for the program…
-> 13 hours and 25 minutes
All emails in that “old style” direct marketing format of calls to actions, links – and PSs!
I feel like I’d met a guy who I liked a couple of times who was an insurance salesman – then invited him to a dinner party with friends and he proceed to dole out business cards and try to sell insurance to my pals.
I can understand why it’s happened. The numbers give a clue – only 250 places, Premium Plus places at $3,988 and Premium places at $1,988. So that’s either a $1m or $500k sales target! We all have to earn a living.
My favourite quote on Personal Networks is from Mick Cope (who wrote the FT book, “Personal Networking”)
“By professional networking I mean a set of close contacts or associates who will help deliver my value to market. The key thing is that these are people who will ‘help’ you in the market, THEY ARE NOT THE MARKET. Sorry for the full-on letters, but my definition of a network is ‘people who will help amplify my personal capital in the market’, not a bunch of friends and colleagues to whom I try to sell under the guise of giving them a great opportunity. Active management of these people is not networking; it is client relationship management, a whole different ball game and one deliberately not covered in this book.”
It’s a great mantra – and you can see why Keith’s actions make me feel let down.
I am sure all people who have signed up for the course will learn a lot (I think no less of Keith’s professional abilities), I hope that Keith has made that $1m sales target (his talent does deserve reward) – but the outcome that I wish for most is that Keith reflects that in the process he’s drifted in to becoming the “Networking Jerk” (chapter 6 – “Never Eat Alone”). Keith’s changed from being the Farmer to the Hunter.
The reason I still like the books – and think well of Keith (even though today I feel let down) is that in both his books his ability to recognise and acknowledge his mistakes shows his humanity.
It’s also a lesson for me. I’m just about to launch a commercial venture alongside my passion for Personal Networks. I am sure that in my enthusiasm, eagerness (and maybe a little greed) along the way I will make mistakes too. I now realise there is a very sensitive line in my relationship with my Personal Network.