There is a trend of incredible temerity and lack of ethics gripping seemingly desperate speakers and consultants. They want their moment in the sun, their Warholian 15 minutes, no matter what. Talent doesn’t matter, value isn’t a consideration. It’s a Kardashian moment.
Recently, a trainer I hadn’t spoken with in over a decade wrote me and asked if she could send me a copy of her new book. I said she could, and I received an uninteresting, uninspiring, self-published book that I tossed out. A month later, she sent another note around, obviously to a large group of which I was a part. She requested the following: “You’ve received my book, and now I’d like you to go to Amazon and write a five-star, positive review. Please do this even if you didn’t like the book. I greatly appreciate your help in trying to make this launch a great success.”
I am not making this up. I should lie about her product so that she can dupe more people while she has a nanosecond in the limelight. Really?
Every day I get requests from people who want me to vote for them in some Internet contest about being a great author, or having a great web site, or being great at asking for votes about being great. When I wrote back to one woman that I had no idea who she was, she told me that she had been in a session I ran seven years ago, in a group of 50. Well, I’m clearly qualified to comment on her new cartoon book about working mothers, right?
Have you seen the book solicitations where you’ll receive “thousands of dollars” of bonus material if you buy the $24 book? Most of the bonus stuff is from people I’ve never heard of offering “tip sheets” of a few worthless ideas which they “value” at $300! (Disclaimer: I know this because I recently agreed to do this for a respected author, and I provided one of my teleconference downloads which sells on my site for $100. When I was offered a view of the total package, I found scores of people, only a few of whom were of the author’s caliber, some offering “invaluable” manuals and $1,000 worth of ideas. It was painful, and I thought unnecessary for this person’s very good book. These others wanted to have their names involved. I learned my lesson.)
Have we come to an age where we need these kind of faux inducements to attract people, where value and repute alone are not enough? Is a better ranking on Amazon worth conspiracy and deception?
I have a book coming out next month from John Wiley & Sons, The Consulting Bible. For $25 you just get the book, nothing else. Well, maybe something else: You get the ideas, models, techniques, and practical application to vastly improve your business. How’s that for a return on investment?
© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.