Saturday, February 17, 2007

Black Books, Gurus and Customers

Did you know there are over 150,000 advertisers
on Google Adwords?

That's a lot of people.

I point that out to the people who are concerned
about me selling my information to 500 or 1000
of them.

When I sold the Adwords Black Book, my biggest
concern was that my information in the hands of
other people would dilute it's power.

I sure didn't see any adverse affect -

In fact, where my business was hurt most had
nothing to do with what I shared - what hurt it
most was that I wasn't prepared for the later
demands that pulled me away from my old
business and into this new 'teacher' gig.

And teaching is only the start. I won't bore you
with the details - let's just say, be careful what
you wish for.

Playing the Game . . .

I don't mind being honest with you - I'd like to
think that's why you read what I write.

The problem with this whole 'guru' thing is
one day you're 'doing it' . . . then you decide
you want something - a little recognition, to
share your ideas, a calling card people pay
attention to, to sincerely help people - and
the next thing you know you wake up in the

I don't mind calling myself a 'guru'. It's a label
and I've been labeled worse.

Who cares?

I don't walk on water and my sh*t does stink
and I'm clear on both.

I have stuff to offer that works for a lot of
people and if 'guru' is the term for doing that,
then fine.

What I don't like about it is that people line
up with big expectations from their chosen
'savior'. Suddenly, every word from my
mouth has to be profound.

No, worse, are the opportunists. "X, I'll
write a sales letter and you create a product
and together we'll put it out there and you'll
get 25% of all sales for doing nothing."

Yes. On any casual evening, I pull a product
out of my ass.

Easy as birthing a baby.

Piece of cake.

I just lie there, writhe in pain for a few
minutes, then it's all smiles.

My wife, kind and gentle as she is, would
smack anyone in the head with a dead
fish if she thought you thought I'm serious.

No, the big problem with being a guru is
that you wind up not doing much of what
you teach because you're too busy teaching
or managing people you've taught to do
what you're teaching.

The result? Crap.

OK, moving on from crap. What's my point?

First, I attended Rich Schefren's event last
weekend. Had a good time with my family
in Florida and got my head cleared up a

Hallalujah, I have a direction.

On Rich note, I got a lot of good value
from his presentation.

I also heard something that shocked me -
and it says a lot (especially since the
guy is teaching business to so many 'gurus').

Rich said, when you're getting your biz
going you can only focus on doing so many
things well. And ultimately, only one thing
is important - bringing in the money to get
to the next stage.

I guess I agree with that.

Then he said, basically, in the beginning the
thing you have to scrimp on is customer

Really, you had to hear him say it to get just
how bad it really sounded. I felt like a cheap
whore and based on my experience, he's
not lying.

Even with his live presentation, he put the
prospects at home ahead of the captive audience
that spent good bucks and time to be there.

[ Rich's confession ]

Don't get me wrong, I've gotten a lot from his
program - yet it's very clear that Rich's main
objective is getting as many customers
through the door as he can - and he's not all
that worried if they're happy.

I think this happens a lot. And I don't think
it's smart business - not if you want to endure
the long run.

Now, it's pretty damn hard to argue that at
this moment in time Rich is the king of our
little IM world.

He's really done it.

But, is it that hard - that costly to provide
even mediocre customer support (Rich, nor
his staff rarely ever visit his forum or answer

When I worked my last job, we would get
slammed with emails. Nobody had time for
them all - yet, when would focus on answering
as many as we could, sales would double.

Some response - ANY response - means something.

Since our backend sales (from existing
customers) and word of mouth referrals
(from our existing customers) are so
important - and the gurus tell us so - does
it seem calculated to neglect those people
in pursuit of new people when you can't
even support the old?

I don't know; makes no sense to me at all.

Of course, when you read the replies to
Rich's apology, you've got a lot of
bootlickers and maybe it's the customer's
fault as much as the guru's.

Tell me what you think . . .


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