I want to rant. Today I attended a webinar by Jeff Gitomer about social media. I have told myself countless times that I was going to stop attending social media webinars since they all say the same very basic information that could be told in 5 minutes, but instead gets stretched out to an hour. What I got today was even worse.
First off, I want to get one gripe out of the way: powerpoint is incredibly boring. Not only was his entire presentation PowerPoint, but it was literally a script and all he had on the screen were the exact words that he then read to us. At one point, he read the same sentence, that was the entire slide, three times. Think about that for a minute. He didn’t add anything, he just read the slide three times.
Ok, I will stop ragging on PowerPoint and get on to what I really want to talk about.
The invite for this webinar said that it would be all about social media and would explain more than the average seminar. Instead, for the first 30 minutes, he read slides that consisted of one sentence per slide. Every time he made a point, he pointed out that his point was incredibly obvious. Every time he gave you an action item, he belittled everyone who does not do it. Every time he explained a tactic, he badmouthed everyone who does not follow that tactic. Then he took the rest of the time to sell his seminars, books, cds and more.
Basically, his entire sales pitch was: Either do what I say, or you are stupid. And the best way to do what I say is to buy tons of my stuff. Why would you treat prospective customers like this? I know that it works for him. Gitomer is a world renowned sales guru. I even own a couple of books by him.
Now, I have read Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion. I know that this is a great way to get people to feel that they need you to help them make it through this big, bad world; and in the short run it will create sales. I just have to believe that there is a better way. Treat your customers well, and give them good content. Yelling at them, calling them stupid, and feeding them platitudes is not going to make them want to continue with you. You might be able to scare them into continuing to buy from you. But the instant someone comes along that treats them well and gives them an actual how to, they will leave you.
Alright, my rant is over. I have run across entrepreneurs, and even entire businesses that operate like this. I just hope that my one little rant will stop maybe just one person from following in their footsteps.