The Marketing Word | Differentiation Marketing

How Not to Get Referrals

I've been receiving emails from a man who apparently belongs to one of the networking groups I belong to. If I have met him, I don't remember him, but he has my name and email and I am now on his list. Apparently he's a roofer.

I have been studiously deleting his emails without opening them and this past week realized who he was. So the first email I open from him tells how he closed a sale. Brags actually. "I was going in there asking them to cut a check for $3,000 on upgrades they didn't need."

Wow. Wrong on so many levels.

I suppose he wants us to admire his "marketing prowess". But I am thinking in an economy where people are struggling, it's more than a little shitty to rip people off for upgrades they didn't need. (The basic roofing job was covered by insurance.)

I also think that if you are ripping people off, you really shouldn't tell other people about it. That's kind of like getting away with a bank robbery and then yakkiing about it in your neighborhood bar.

And gee, let's put it in writing and send it out to over 100 people.

And finally, let's send it to people that this guy hopes to get referral business from. Because the first thing I am going to do is refer a friend or client to someone who I know rips people off. Not.

This email rates a big WTF. And, as you can tell, it pissed me off. What a wanker.

Here's a marketing tip: If you are ripping off your customers, it is probably best not to write that in an email and send it to people you want to do business with. OY!

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  • Mara Alexander · 06/27/2011 at 8:21 pm

    I’d like to believe that those of us who have business ethics will still be around long after wankers like this bozo are run out of town by people carrying pitch forks and torches.

    You hit on another of my pet peeves (and a giant email etiquette no-no), is people sending me email I didn’t request/opt-in for, or using my email address for anything other than it’s intended purpose. Just because they got an email address somehow, doesn’t give any business the right to use it for marketing unless they have permission from the email address’ owner.

  • Tara Jacobsen · 06/28/2011 at 3:50 am

    Holy buckets is that bad! Integrity in business is the main thing, after that all good things come to you…:) I wonder whose class he attended to get that “great” marketing advice. Seriously, I have seen too many bad marketers out there who are teaching this kind of crap and who are willing to build a business on BS…argg I am mad too!

    PS – people who email me run that risk too!!!

  • Linda Burhans · 06/28/2011 at 6:27 am


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