C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Today’s ordeal: Insults aren’t a marketing strategy

I talked to a bad sad person today who tried to push me around and deceive.

After a little more research, I figured out he was trying to sell me more of his own services but he wasn’t up front about it. Devious! I responded with reluctance because I hate hard sells and I’m suspicious of verbal sleight of hand. Then he switched from persuasion to an attempt at bullying. Why does any marketer think mean works? I guess he knew he wasn’t getting a sale so he had to get the venom out of his system. (Note: He’s not alone in thinking bullying works in sales. I suppose there are some gym memberships that prove bullying does work, but I don’t recommend it.)

He tried to spin a few dollars into “consulting”, amping a cheap offer ($15) into (I’m guessing) one or two thousand dollars. That’s quite a stretch to the next sales level, isn’t it? If he was as savvy at marketing as he says he is, he’d recognize he’s fishing in the wrong pool. And he’s angry at the fish.

When he wasn’t clear on his offer, I tried to determine if he was willing to work within a budget (any budget!) He went from wheedling to puffery to obfuscation to contempt in four sentences. I figured out what he was up to. What it amounted to was, “That thing I tried to sell you for $15 that I said would be awesome? Tricked you! What I said would be awesome is worthless and sucks, but if you don’t buy the platinum package (which I won’t define) you’re an idiot…” Blah-de-blah. Nonsense and hurt feelings ensue.

So that was eight minutes and ten seconds from hell. Skype tells you exactly how long you’ve been in hell. Convenient. He told me I’d wasted 15 minute of his time. Odd, he wasn’t worried about wasting my time with deception and insults, but we’re all the centre of our own universes, aren’t we?

Here’s my Twitter stream (read from the bottom up) from today’s encounter with the outside world. This is why I hide in my writing cave and avoid human contact. It was a delightful reminder of what not to do. Okay, not so delightful, but instructive. Basically, desperate and mean doesn’t work.

Does this seem mean? I don’t think so. If I were mean, I’d tell you his name. Instead, I’ll say, caveat emptor and hang up faster than I did.

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 4.47.17 PM

Screen Shot 2013-07-18 at 4.45.36 PM

Start here and read up for the details of how not to market.

On the other hand, it was fun getting a phone call through to SPP!

Click here to see how I'm recruiting allies in the struggle to get visible (without dealing with Mr. Nasty Meany Big Time).

Click here to see how I’m recruiting allies in the struggle to get visible (without dealing with Mr. Nasty Meany Big Time).

~ For the record, I didn’t hang up on him because my mama raised someone who’s hopelessly polite. I also believe it’s important to give nasty people enough rope to hang themselves so I can spin the ordeal into a post on my blog. At least I get something out of it that way. Click either of the images above and you’ll see my latest marketing attempt for This Plague of Days. It’s the opposite of what was tried on me today. My approach is to go for win-win instead of deceive-insult. If my approach doesn’t work, I guess I could move to New York and give berating potential customers a try. Okay, now I’m officially letting this go. Have a peaceful day.

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Filed under: book marketing, , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Responses

  1. Mary Maddox says:

    Okay, Robert, I love you.

    Today I had a lesson in how much better kindness and concern work. I had a disappointing result from Story Cartel, a site where you upload books for readers to review. Reviewers get no payment, but they do get a chance to win a prize in a drawing. My novel had 53 downloads but just one review — a bad one! I wrote a courteous but somewhat sharp sentence of complaint, and got a response half an hour later asking what happened and how they could make it right. By the time our correspondence ended, my feelings toward them had gone from bitterness to respect.

    Courtesy. Kindness. Generosity. The willingness of listen. Why don’t more people have these qualities since they work so well?

    That guy on Skype — take a nice long walk to unload the anger that he loaded on you. Then forget about the jerk.

  2. Chazz says:

    Ha! Thanks for the love, Mary! Much appreciated!

    Will you be blogging about this? Story Cartel is new to me, but I’d be curious how you dealt with it so effectively. For instance, what was the courteous but somewhat sharp sentence that got you through to someone?

    Dealing with some people is so hard. The guy I wrote about tried a bait and switch and I should have cut him off instead of letting him go on. I’d have had less to chew over later. I try to live my life according to the advice from a Bare Naked Ladies song, “If there is someone you can do without in your life, then do so!”

    It’s hard to remember that advice sometimes, especially when you’re trying to navigate the world and get something done. I’m glad to live in such a way that I have so many more friends and supporters than that sad dude. That’s why it’s always such a shock when we run up against sociopaths.

    Thanks for reading and for the comment. And now, I’m torn. Is Story Cartel something I should check out or not? What’s your recommendation?

    • Wow, did the Canuck really just quote a Bare Naked Ladies song?

    • Mary Maddox says:

      Robert,
      I saidI would tell my author friends what a bust the experience was, but I think my expression of dissatisfaction might have been enough. Joe from Story Cartel actually offered to comp me the Amazon gift card I owed to the reviewer who panned Talion. But I’d already sent it. She and I had a polite exchange. That was hard; the bad review hurt.

      You might take a look at Story Cartel. It does work for some authors. You agree to supply a prize for the drawing: 5 paperback copies of your book, 3 $10 Amazon gift cards, or a Kindle. If you get only one review, as I did, that’s one $10 card or one paperback. Or a Kindle.

      The thing is, I don’t think their site gets tremendous traffic. They do, however, have 9,200+ newsletter subscribers, and for $275 they’ll announce that your book is available for review. The fee seemed way too high to me, and I explained why. Joe made the case for pricing the service high based on the amount of work put into the newsletter announcement.

      If you have lots of readers signed up for your own newsletter, you could send an announcement to them and get a bunch of reviews for a new release. Those folks would presumably be fans of your writing and predisposed to enjoy it.

  3. Chazz says:

    He did! Currently (and still!) trying to play Bare Naked Ladies’ song “Box Set” to death. It can’t be done. The song is that good.

  4. melissa nacinovich says:

    Hi! I’ve nominated you for a ‘Versatile Blogger Award’…because you’re awesome of course. If you’re not the awards type that’s cool but if you are go get it here http://wp.me/p3CH62-pt ! Yeah, there are rules but they’re pretty easy to follow. Thanks for reading my silliness!
    : )

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