Years ago I received some feedback from someone I’ll call Tim. While I prefer to read nothing but glowing testimonials, the constructive comments are also valuable (if not more so).
While my first reaction is “Ugh… someone isn’t happy with me,” the second reaction is “Oooh – what good can come from this?” because I know that there is contained within every undesirable experience a seed of equal or greater benefit (Napoleon Hill). Maybe sharing the interaction will help someone – either business owners who get feedback themselves, or a student who has similar concerns – to understand the principles even better.
Tim’s comments, though constructive in nature, made me smile (and laugh out loud, even).
He sent the following as a reply to an offer in my newsletter. It has been edited slightly for brevity and clarity:
Thank you for the offer and all the wisdom and experience you share. I also enjoy your newsletters and blog entries. As a senior in college, graduating next May I just invested nearly $3,000 in tuition, fees, and books. Consequently, your offer is beyond my current budget. And all the wishing, wanting, hoping, and applying of the law of attraction won’t change that in the short range.
Having read much of what you have written, and having heard you in person, I know you are honest and sincere. So please take the following “rant” (and personal pet peeve) as simply sharing my opinion and point of view. I receive many newsletters and lots of product offers.
Very few approach their potential customers with an open, honest offer without a ton of hype. It’s as though they all have the same copywriters or took the same lessons in hyping their offer letters. Typically you do not fall into that category, which is why I continue to follow you and read your blogs and newsletters.
However, there were two lines in this e-mail that “tugged” at my pet peeve of hyping or glossing over details in an effort to motivate and persuade to action:
- “Want to get the Mindset Mastery Program, essentially FREE?” and
- “You’ll be able to get the [companion offer] for a discount … Making your Mindset Mastery investment potentially zero.”
In reality the Mindset Mastery program is not free. Actually, the [offer bonus] is the only item that is truly FREE. Mindset Mastery is full cost and the [companion offer] is discounted. You are not saying “purchase the [companion offer] and get Mindset Mastery for free.” You are actually saying, if you buy Mindset Mastery with the [companion offer], you will discount the [companion offer] and give [bonus offer] as a free gift.
Maybe an old joke will help clarify:
“A man arrives at work out of breath and sweating. A co-worker asks why. The man replies that he missed his bus and ran behind it all the way to work–but the good news is that he saved $3. The co-worker replied that he should have ran behind a taxi to work instead and then he could have saved $35!”
Details, semantics? Yes, perhaps…but from my perspective, one approach is clear and open–like a friend talking to a friend–and the other sounds more like typical marketing hype.
I truly believe you can accomplish your goals with the open, friend-to-friend approach, which is the style and approach you have typically portrayed. I hope over time that you don’t end up sounding like so many other internet marketers. After all, you are definitely unique!
Stay that way–you don’t have to use their techniques. Your customers are savvy and to use their approaches only detracts from your message and spirit.
I wish you continued success…respectfully,
Here is my reply:
I loved this email! I really do appreciate your feedback. The story about the taxicab made me laugh out loud.
I do intend to be different from the rest, because I’m on the receiving end of too much marketing hype myself. Many apologies for crossing your line on my last “pitch”. Truthfully, it wasn’t worded that way because someone gave me an annoying template to use, it was worded that way because I assumed that more people would be less overwhelmed with a $600 Mindset Mastery “next step” than the $1500 [companion offer], and because the way I approach MY investments is by asking “What step CAN I take right now?” trusting that the way will appear for my future steps, later.
I will add this, though…
You’ve already decided there isn’t a way; so for you (as it stands), there isn’t.
You said: “…your offer is beyond my current budget. And all the wishing, wanting, hoping, and applying of the law of attraction won’t change that in the short range.”
But that’s not necessarily true.
The truth is that there is always a way (as you know, if you’ve studied these principles as much as I think you have). However, whether the way appears or not depends on a decision, and I’m not saying that to urge you to take advantage of this offer, I’m just pointing out a minor flaw in your argument.
I realize now is probably not the time for you to do this, and if it isn’t, then no matter what anyone says, you shouldn’t do it. But if and when something inside says it IS time to take a next step (with my stuff or anyone else’s), then you’ve got to make that decision to step forward with faith, even before you have identified the “how.”
It’s a principle that applies to any step forward, be it college, marriage, raising kids, or anything else. Sometimes you just have to make a decision to move forward, even if you don’t know how it all is going to work out.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.
“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!’” – William Hutchison Murray
So, “Where will the money come from?” According to Bob Proctor, the answer is always, “Wherever it is now.”
“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox
We must always look to the unlimited, unseen supply rather than the limited visible supply when making life decisions. We’ve seen money show up from the most unexpected, unlikely places, and so have our students.
Just yesterday we got a phone call about a settlement check we’ll be receiving for nearly $7000 from a source that on Tuesday we didn’t even know EXISTED. It’s a kind of settlement check that really could happen to just about anybody – unrelated to my business or anything else unusual that we do.
I believe it showed up because we recently made a firm, committed decision to do some things to expand our reach that on paper appeared financially impossible.
I do what I CAN today, expecting things will work out, and while I always experience some nervousness stepping into the darkness, so far (since 2000), it’s worked out every time. Not always the way I expect it to work, not always the way I want it to work, and not always in the time frame I want it to work, but in the long run it always works out.
Anyway, there’s my “rant” back atcha ;). Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. They are always welcome and appreciated.
I hope this helps someone today. Thank you readers – for sending your comments; I love your feedback. It helps me know that there’s really people out there.
If I depended on only my visible supply of readers, I would stop writing.
I’d wonder, “What’s the point?” I can’t see you, but I keep writing anyway, believing that you’re really there, getting some kind of benefit from my posts. Sometimes we have to do things believing that it’s having an unseen impact for good. Believe that you can do what you want to do, and be where you want to be.
By the same token, if we had only ever depended on our visible supply of financial resources, we would never have made scary decisions to invest in our education. And if we hadn’t found the courage to step into the darkness once in a while, we might still be cleaning office buildings in the middle of the night.
Honestly, if I have to be up at midnight at all, I’d rather be writing.
Thanks for reading! 😉
If you’re ready to take a leap of faith that could potentially make all the difference for you, do it. Do you need help getting clarity and seeing a goal through? Join us for Mindset Mastery. Do you need a jump start to get beyond an obstacle already in your way? Join us for Genius Bootcamp. You can click here to learn more about the difference.
See you on the inside!