I blame some coach for this.
You see, the emails are way too similar for it not to be spearheaded by some so-called “guru”, even though they are from completely different people and for completely different things. And of course, whoever is advocating this approach is dead wrong.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve had several emails from people I barely know asking me to share their message, their teleclass, their product to their list. And when I do so I will be ‘paying it forward’.
The idea of “paying it forward”, as I understand it, means you help others without expecting them to return the favor to you. Instead these people demand help for themselves without ever having done anything for me or offering any help in the future! Talk about turning an idea on its head!
It would be different if I really knew these people, and knew how they had helped me or others out of the kindness of their heart. But I don’t.
And the way these have been written it was obvious that they don’t know me well either. Here’s some of the reasons why:
- A lack of a salutation. There was no ‘Dear Shannon’ or ‘Hello Shannon’. Heck, there was no mention of my name at all. So my guess is this was an email blast to a bunch of people. If you want me to help you, don’t you think it would be nice not to be so generic in your approach?
- There’s no reference of how I know the person. Are you a former customer? Are you on my list? Did we meet at some live event? No offense, but my mind is on 50 other things when your email comes in. And for me, those emails usually go to my assistant (since you don’t have my personal email), who also does not know if we have a connection.
- Not understanding I have 50 other things on my plate! Several of these emails were asking me to pretty much drop what I was doing in the next week or so and help them. If you knew me, you’d know I plan my marketing months in advance. I rarely add something to my marketing docket without more advanced notice.
- And a guilt trip by using the words ‘pay it forward’? Please! If you knew me, I pay it forward a lot, with free e-courses, free teleclasses, and more.
So, of course, I am ignoring such requests. I know, it may be polite to respond to such a request, but I learned a long time ago that if you can’t say nothing nice, then it’s (sometimes) best to say nothing.
Now it’s not like I say no all the time. As a matter of fact, I say yes to many requests like these. What makes the difference? The person builds a relationship with me. So when they finally ask me a ‘favor’, I want to say yes, because I know them. I like them and I trust them. Otherwise, I feel like you just want to use me.
Yes, I know that reaching out for help can be difficult. (I admit, I hate asking for help myself, as I often don’t want people to see a weakness.) However, take a step back from your approach and realize most people need to connect with you in order to say yes to your request. And let me remind you that a request may not be for help, but to buy something from you as well. (After all, people buy from trusted sources, right?) So make that connection. Grow that relationship. You’ll find more people saying yes to your request when you do.
How about you? How do you feel about such requests? Is it a relationship that makes you say “yes”? Or something else?