Concussion Grenade Marketing

The last few weeks I’ve been deep sea diving.

Metaphorically speaking.

More on that soon.

Today: A shortish video* on a commonish marketing thing that just oozes craptasticness.

* It’s a tiny bit longer than I wanted. But this feels important.

p.s. The video’s a little swear-ey. If you were thinking of watching it at a cubicle at work, you might want to rethink that.

Nothing to see here.

How does this kind of marketing land with you?
What alternatives would you (as someone who buys stuff and/or sells stuff) like to see?
How do we make sure we’re using our marketing superpowers for good?

Dig this?

Sign up + don’t miss a drop. Email or RSS. Take your pick, tater.

50 Responses to Concussion Grenade Marketing
  1. andrea
    May 5, 2011 | 8:53 am

    I love this Fabeku!

    And I am starting to think about the next level for my business – what I want that to be and how I’d like to get there. I’m thinking more along the lines of adorable new website, than throwing grenades 🙂

    I have bought from the grenade-throwers and I do notice, like you said – I am in pain when I do it and just desperately hoping that this thing can make it better. Ugh.

    So I have a rule now – no buying anything when I’m down. If I’m down I go meditate or paint or sit in nature or karaoke sad songs or anything but looking for solutions online.

    Of course, I still buy solutions online – because there are amazing things to be bought from amazing people – but I buy them when I’m feeling good. And I trust the person to help me. And I like the person. And I’m not grossed out by their buying process.

    If those three things aren’t there, I don’t buy. It’s not only that I don’t want to give my money to support that kind of stuff, but that I don’t want to be involved with it in anyway.

    I get to create my own world to for me to live in, through the choices I make and how I live my life. I choose creativity and respect and abundance and play and good feelings.

  2. andrea
    May 5, 2011 | 9:22 am

    Oh! I had to come back because I started thinking about the flip side to this: People being afraid of becoming grenade-throwers, so they don’t do any marketing and their sparkling gorgeous thing doesn’t get out into the world.

    (This was me for the first 3 years I was doing creativity workshops)

  3. Anastasia
    May 5, 2011 | 9:31 am

    Awesome vid Fabeku! Our customers must realize the power of being a prospect. I think you hit it on the head (no pun…honestly). So many successful people are that way because they attract the right people with a message that resonates without the pressure. It just feels better when we attract someone who is not buying out of desperation or coercion and the customer is in a better place to get value from our services when they are feeling GOOD about their purchase…not forced. Thanks for getting this message out. The only way it will change is if the buyers use their power through their dollars and voices to buy what feels right and aligns with them and recognize when something smells a little off…its probably….well you know.

    GOOD ON YA!

    Anastasia

  4. Sue
    May 5, 2011 | 9:38 am

    Thank you so much for recording this and speaking your truth. A couple of weeks ago I was bombarded by just this kind of marketing to the point where I wanted to throw hand grenades at the marketer! And because I have a relationship with her, I asked her was it necessary to be barraged like that. The thing that really sucks for me, is that I like this woman, and have benefited from her skills. I just hate this marketing technique, which when I stop and feel into it, also gives me a sense of her seeming desperate. Ugh.
    As an artist, I don’t ever want to succumb to this approach. As a marketer, I look forward to some healthier models to work with and look forward to what others have to share along these lines.
    Bless you, my friend♥

  5. Grace
    May 5, 2011 | 9:52 am

    Thanks for this, Fabeku. You’re totally right on, and I think it’s important for people to start standing up to this sort of marketing approach.

    I know that I will often check out the free stuff from people using this technique, just to see what kind of tips or ideas I can pick up – either from their marketing approach (which often ends up being how I don’t want to do it!) or from the content (whatever it is they’re teaching).

    I’ve also noticed that when I do this, I frequently find myself feeling truly AWFUL for the rest of the day because – as you say – they have leaned on the pain points. So I spend the rest of the day sitting around wondering where I’m screwing up, why I’m not getting the results they talk about, blah blah blah.

    That’s obviously not how I want to market to my people, any more than it’s how I want to be marketed to. Yet as Andrea points out above, it can be difficult to find the happy medium – the place that’s both authentic and makes the value of what we offer very clear.

    Anyway … thanks for ranting, Fabeku!

  6. skaja
    May 5, 2011 | 10:15 am

    Excellent video, Fabeku. The onslaught of this type of marketing (along with everyone in the same circle promoting each other’s stuff AND the websites that have those ‘sign up for my mailing list’ pop-ups) just feels really icky, and actually leaves me unsure of how to market MY stuff, because I SO don’t want to be all ‘You must buy this NOW, because it’s not gonna last!’ (with accompanying yellow highlighter), which is actually kinda true, because I make one-of-a-kind stuff.

    I commented on the twitters last night about being on more than one segment of someone’s list, because when the ZOMG! YOU MUST BUY (signup/call/reply to) THIS NOW!!!! emails go out, these kinds of marketers tend to send those emails out to EVERY. SEGMENT. OF. THEIR. LIST. It’s one thing to get a bunch of emails about someone’s Next Big Thing because you signed up to know more. It’s quite another (and annoying) to get each email multiple times because said person is telling every segment.

    Don’t even get me started with the ‘Oops, I included the wrong link so I must email you again’ emails. Oh. Em. Gee.

    A very smart person I know told me something that helps lessen the frustration of being overloaded with information (and being pushed to make a decision) and the subsequent pile of unread infoproduct material (because you didn’t really want the thing in the first place, so now it just collects dust on your hard drive): Figure out the teachers whose message you trust. Whose stuff resonates with you. And seriously consider the source of anything coming from anyone who isn’t on that list.

    Thank you for rapping about this. Very needed insight.

  7. Christine Martell
    May 5, 2011 | 11:21 am

    Thank you for saying so many of the things I have been annoyed by in all of this too. I am saying no to this kind of marketing. There have been a number of offers I do think I would benefit from that I have refused to buy because of the choice of marketing pressure.

    Not to mention, how often is it good business sense to make a super quick decision to spend up to thousands of dollars on the schedule of someone else?

  8. Peggie
    May 5, 2011 | 12:04 pm

    You know, I see this as the internet marketer version of what the (now) old-timey “self help, find yourself, coachy, speaker” guru used to do from the platform. and in their newsletters. heaven help us when they got technology, now they can do it faster and don’t have to wait for us to pay big money to show up to their event so that they can make us feel more pain at the end of the event that was supposed to cure all our previous pain…look, the super brain in me thinks it’s brilliant, once upon a time Gordon Gecko was one of my idols…(true I’m not proud of it today, but still true)

    Yet today, I resonate with Andrea so much — I never buy (food, wine, toys, trips or “help” when I’m feeling crappy – I guess a caveat would be if I were in severe medical pain) and I never even read/listen to people whose main marketing mojo is something that makes me feel WORSE about myself than I did before they came across my box/tweetstream/etc.

    Of course as you and Andrea have said, there are ways to market w/out dropping grenades like this — just be you. Then if you want to flesh it out more, work with someone whose marketing style you admire (even if they are not billed as a marketing coach – -they can probably point you in the right direction).

    Don’t hide your gifts because you’re afraid of being called out — someone will always HATE what you do, and someone will always LOVE it. Just do what resonates with you.

    Peace.

  9. Wulfie
    May 5, 2011 | 12:08 pm

    Fabeku, I’m glad someone finally said this right out loud!

    As someone who’s learning about creating and running an on-line business I’ve followed bunches of links that end up using this technique. I’ve also taken courses that promote exactly this technique. I end up walking away from everything because I don’t want to run a business if this is the way it’s done. Nope, don’t want to be a member of the “whatthefuck.com” clique!

    And the applying pressure to pain points…uh…yeah. Ouch and no fair! If I’m already suffering why hurt me more with a sales technique that makes me feel like a loser?

    Thanks muchly for talking about it. Useful. Helpful. Ninjarific advice.

    @skaja What? Those oops emails are part of this? Boy, can someone help me remove this fishing hook from my mouth?!

  10. skaja
    May 5, 2011 | 12:24 pm

    @wulfie I think it’s entirely valid to have an ‘Eep! I messed up the link in this email.’ or some other type of issue that warrants a second email not long after the initial email. It’s probably something to be taken with a grain of salt as far as how often is too much (as in, does it happen more than half the time? I’d question their ability to be thorough in their message writing, then), so your mileage may vary there.

    It’s more of an annoyance to me because it’s just one more email I have to process, especially if it comes from someone I don’t already trust.

    My apologies for not being clearer. 🙂

  11. Julia
    May 5, 2011 | 12:42 pm

    I’m really glad you and Bridget are talking about this. I’ve seen it too, and sometimes from people who are really well known and seem respected by others, and it just icks me out. I trust the ick. It it’s coming from someone who does have a good reputation, I also check out their free stuff and usually can spot immediately why this person is not someone I want to deal with. If the sales pitch looks like a low budget used car sales commercial, that’s a pretty good sign. And I think people who do have something of value to offer will be found by the people who need to hear their message and they will be successful, without the ick.

  12. Julia
    May 5, 2011 | 1:26 pm

    Okay, I’ve been thinking about this and have a couple of other things to say. One of the red flags for me about this marketing approach is that the seller doesn’t seem to care about reaching people that they can actually help. They are vague about what you will get out of the program, except maybe for a cursory statement like, “If you DON’T want to compete and make tons of money, this is not for you.” I like people who are specific and honest about who will really benefit and what you will actually be able to take away from their thing.

    Also, these types of marketers don’t seem to care about building a relationship with their clients. And because of this, they aren’t committed to providing really good, useful content.

    In the past, I’ve purchased a lower level product from someone I wasn’t sure about – they might be helpful, but I just didn’t know. My $50 got me ONE useful, practical idea, so I didn’t activate the money back guarantee, but I won’t ever buy from them again, and I’m pretty sure they don’t care anyway.

  13. Wulfie
    May 5, 2011 | 3:21 pm

    @skaja Thanks for the clarity. 🙂

  14. Randi Buckley
    May 5, 2011 | 3:30 pm

    @Andrea “Oh! I had to come back because I started thinking about the flip side to this: People being afraid of becoming grenade-throwers, so they don’t do any marketing and their sparkling gorgeous thing doesn’t get out into the world.”
    This is me. Just when I think I’m out of it, part of me gets sucked back into this vortex, to some degree. I admit it. It’s like The Godfather.

    Fabeku: There is a reason the first three letters of your name are FAB. Because you are. Cheesy as hell, yes, mais c’est vrai! Thank you.

  15. Tara Gentile
    May 5, 2011 | 4:03 pm

    I am so torn on this.

    And what tears me up is this: this people have good stuff to teach. And people could learn A LOT from them.

    The problem really comes in that – as you said – people don’t learn, they replicate. They regurgitate. They vomit it all back up.

    I mean, we’re not talking about yellow highlighter, SEO snake oil salespeople here. We’re talking about people who have legitimate businesses outside of the specific “make money online niche.”

    Sometimes, I do think there is a call for a hard sell, laying it all out there, creating urgency, pointing out what’s off and how you can make it on (as opposed to what’s wrong & how you can make it right). Our customers’/clients’ filters are THICK. Sometimes it’s genuinely difficult to get through, regardless of how awesome you are.

    So… I guess I’m not sure what I’m trying to say. Just that I’m torn. I’ve learned a lot from the two women in question at the same time, I won’t be buying this product – it’s not what I need.

    Which I guess brings me to the last part of the equation… if this is what some people need to do to get seen… how much does our personal responsibility to buy what we need come into play here?

  16. Bridget
    May 5, 2011 | 4:34 pm

    It’s not just the two women in question, though. There is a male version of this that is just as annoying.
    I think filters are really thick and also, they aren’t so thick if you people know you.
    If Fabeku threw something out there tomorrow, people would sign up.
    Same with me. And Tara, I’m betting it’s the same with you.

  17. Phyllis Nichols
    May 5, 2011 | 4:41 pm

    I knew you were a genius!
    And brave – thanks for being so willing to call attention to this.
    Online marketing doesn’t have to be like this. It is possible to offer value without making people feel like crap.
    I also think that people purchase to be part of the “in” crowd in the hope that access or proximity to the personality/persons involved will somehow mean success for them too.
    When the emphasis is on the people/personalities/profiles (insert your list of A-list online names here) and not on the actual content – warning bells should be ringing!!

  18. Fabeku
    May 5, 2011 | 5:05 pm

    Hey peeps! Thanks for spinning the smartness here.

    @Andrea – I think your rule is brilliant! Because, seriously, making a decision from that place almost never turns out well.

    When I have a client who writes that seems really desperate, I never schedule them for a session. I ask them to take some deep breaths, give it some thought + check back in a few days. I want them to come to a decision with as much clarity as they can. Not make some reactive choice.

    And I’m with you 100% on the amazingness that exists online. It’s so there. And it’s so incredible. And being aware of the corners of the interwebs where things get muddy – whatever that means to you – is important.

    I also grok what you mean about people who are afraid of becoming grenade launchers. But, in my experience, that pretty much never happens. Those people just don’t have it in them. They may get snagged for a minute on things they’ll later rethink. But they’ll never turn into droppers-of-grenades. Getting them to understand that is uber helpful.

    @Anastasia – You make a really good point about the differences between someone buying because a deep chord has been struck and someone who buys from a place of ack + coercion.

    When someone jumps mostly because they’re acked + feeling pushed, I think everyone loses. For the person buying, they may not even really want or need or be able to benefit from what’s being offered because it’s the wrong thing, or the wrong time or whatever else.

    And for the person selling, it’s impossible to build a relationship with people this way. And relationships are really what carry this whole thing. That and the fact that getting twist-ey seems like a seriously expensive way to make moolah to me.

    @Sue – I get what you mean. It always bums me out to see people I dig and respect – people who I know do good work + have good schtuff to offer – using these tactics.

    I think it’s easy for people to fall into this. I mean, sure, sometimes it’s done on purpose. Sometimes its done because those models are pretty much everywhere you look. And sometimes its done because a lot of times people don’t see clear alternatives.

    It’s a messy situation. Hard to see. Hard to be a part of. Hard all around.

    @Grace – Yes! That feeling-crappy-for-the-rest-of-the-day thing has become a big red flag for me too.

    And, yeah, it can be hard to find that balance. Which is why I think that some collective brainstorming on new ways to do this is so so so important.

    We can stand up to this stuff + say no. But we also need to figure out how to build new bridges.

    Because we have things that can help people. And people need those things. And we need to make a living + feel good about how that happens.

    @Skaja – The list thing is tricky, isn’t it? I’ve had that happen to and I don’t love it.

    I think sometimes it’s a mix of technical considerations + not paying careful enough attention.

    I always appreciate when people give their people a heads up that this might happen. Naomi (from IttyBiz) was really good about that. So if I ended up getting multiple emails because I was on multiple lists it wasn’t a big deal to me.

    p.s. I also think there are legit cases of scarcity. You make one-of-a-kind art. That’s legitimately scarce. And it’s ok to say so. That’s way different than trumping up some scarcity around an ebook.

    @Christine – I hear you. I’ve been doing a lot more filtering + tuning out too with stuff that lands funky for me.

    And good point about decisions + big piles of cash.

    I’d like to see more people making it really clear who their thing is + isn’t for – spelling the value + mojo + goodness out more clearly so it’s easier for people to say yes or no

    Less push. More clarity.

    @Peggie – I think what you’ve said is pure smartness. Thumbs up on not pressing buy when feeling ouch-ey. And for looking at other ways of doing it. Because they exist. And they’re doable. For sure!

    @Wulfie – It can get really discouraging. I hear that a lot. The good news is it’s not the only way to play the game. Even if it’s one of the loudest options out there.

    And I get what you mean about the pain thing too. I think there’s a fine line between recognizing where your people are at + leaning in to press hard on what hurts.

    Sometimes that line gets a little blurry. And I don’t always think it’s on purpose. But it still sucks when it happens.

    @Julia – I think a lot of really good, really honest, really talented people get caught up in this stuff.

    I’ve tried to stay away from talking about the inner reasons that people do this. Because that’s in-their-head stuff. And I don’t pretend to know that. (And I’m not saying you were saying that’s what I’m talking about. Just speaking to this more broadly because I think it’s pretty key.)

    I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I assume that maybe they’re using this tactic because they’ve seen it so much. Maybe they’re not being intentionally gross.

    But I still think trusting the ick is smart. So is walking away when the approach doesn’t feel right.

    I also think what you said about the vagueness + zero interest in relationships is dead on. Because, like I said, relationships matter so much. And the vagueness just feels off to me.

    @Randi – It’s hard, isn’t it? I used to really worry about turning into a grenade thrower. I still don’t talk about what I do as much as I should.

    But I really get – in that feel-it-in-my-bones way – that I won’t end up there. And I can’t see you ever going there either. I’ve never felt even a trace of it from you.

    And thanks for the sweetness. Back atcha!

    @Tara – I want to be really clear that I’m not talking about anyone specific here. I don’t know what two women are being referenced (and don’t need to know). I’m seeing this kind of marketing happening more + more with a lot of people. So I’m talking about the tactic here. Not people.

    I totally agree that this is happening with people who have real mojo to offer. That’s mostly what bothers me.

    Because rather than reduce the filters, I think this concussion thing just increases them. Even if they get a great response to whatever particular thing they’re selling, things suffer in the long run because this tactic doesn’t really build relationships.

    And that’s where the sustainable magic happens.

    I also think that the filters might not be as thick as we think they are. Not if we’ve been really clear + really present + really consistent in who we are + what we’re doing + how we can help.

    The people teaching these models might tell us the filters are thick. And I totally believe that’s their experience. But that might be due to the very models they’re teaching.

    My experience is that my folks have pretty thin filters. Especially the core group of people. But that happens because relationships are being built.

    And you obviously get that. You do a gorgeous job connecting with your people.

    (p.s. The people teaching these models also kind of play on our fears. They amp up how thick those filters are so we use their system. More suck.)

    I respect how you feel about the hard sell. I’m just at a different place with it.

    I feel like if I need to sell hard + push my people then I’m failing somewhere. Maybe I haven’t communicated the mojo clearly enough. Or maybe I haven’t made it easy enough for people to know who will benefit from it.

    So, for me, the solution is more clarity in how I present it. Not to revert to a hard sell.

    Not just because I think the hard sell sucks. But because it doesn’t really fix the problems + also risks relationships.

    I think the concussion grenade stuff is an easier way to do it. It takes a lot less work, in some ways. And it’s also really effective. But, for me, it doesn’t feel like the best option.

    Thankfully there are other ways. I think those ways need to be explored a little more. But that’s doable.

    And I’m with you on personal responsibility. People should be responsible for what they buy. No one is holding a gun to our head and making us press the buy button.

    But I think there are cleaner ways to lead people to a buying decision. So there’s responsibility on both sides.

    As a strategy to get seen, I’m not sure it really works though. Not in a sustainable way. I think it might backfire in the long run.

    At some point, if the relationships aren’t there, it just becomes noise. Then the filters really kick in.

    It’s a hard issue. Lots of complexity to it. And I get why you feel torn. It’s not always a black and white thing.

    @Bridget – Ditto on the people-knowing-you thing. I feel like that’s a big key. And something that gets missed in this concussion grenade marketing thing.

    @Phyllis – You’re totally right. It doesn’t have to be like this. Even if this might be the one of the loudest + flashiest options, there are other ways. And I know plenty of people saying no to concussion grenade tactics + still making bank. So it’s doable.

    And yesyesyes to the flash vs content thing. I don’t mind flash. At all. But it needs something to back it up. It should be secondary to the substance. (I have a post halfway done about this exact thing.)

    I appreciate what every one of you have said + how you’ve showed up. It’s nice to have a clean discussion about stuff that’s tricksy + messy + challenging.

    Big lurve + chocolate for all of you.

  19. Catherine Caine
    May 5, 2011 | 5:26 pm

    Oh so well said, my lovely.

    The bit I’m wrasslin with is how to get to the next level of rocking-people’s-worlds without using that tried-and-true. Because the old school is being modeled very very visibly for us to use and learn from, but the new model? Well, I’ll be looking forward to your follow-up.

  20. Claudia Hall Christian
    May 5, 2011 | 5:49 pm

    I think people focus too much on the short term and not on the long haul. I see this in publishing as well. It’s a kind of “if we can get your money NOW…” Of course, buyers are so disgusted they never come back or try to get out of it in some way.

    I fell into one of these situations – paid good money for an audio course and they ended up talking about Tiger Wood’s girlfriends, a topic I had avoided otherwise. Crazy, but they did get my money.

    Or the woman who advertised that I would learn what I wanted to learn, but 9 months later hadn’t produced the goods. Next month… next month… she said to get my membership fee.

    I want a lifelong career of creating quality products that people want to come back to. But I have to be willing to wait for it. It’s hard to wait. It’s hard to believe.

    Frankly, if I wanted to just make money, I’d sell real estate.

  21. Alexia
    May 5, 2011 | 6:25 pm

    Totally hit it.

    I’ve been feeling slimmed myself lately and noticing the frenzy and stuff that feels way pushy & well, slimy.

    It hurts those of us trying to build businesses because we think we have to be all cute & sexy just like them to make a buck. And if we’re not, we’re screwed, right?

    It hurts those of us who are the targets because it does make us die a little inside to be made so acutely aware of our shortcomings and when we can’t afford the $2000 price tag, we die a little more inside…

    I was sucked in once to the tune of $3000. Yes, I learned a bit from that course, but not $3000 worth.

    There’s balance and kindness and goodness that needs to come into all this. And that’s where I’m going. Don’t like the despair that comes from this marketing.

    It’s time to take wtf.com offline 😉

  22. Joan Bright
    May 5, 2011 | 7:47 pm

    Thanks for saying what so many are thinking, or think they might be thinking….ewwwwww. Guilting people into buying (my) stuff? Ewwwwwwwwwww……and ugh. and ouch. Yuck, too, don’t forget that. Totally short sweet and to the point and thank you, Fabeku, for speaking out.

  23. Tara
    May 5, 2011 | 8:59 pm

    Yes! A zillion and one yesses!
    You said it best here: “I feel like if I need to sell hard + push my people then I’m failing somewhere.”
    It’s a little cliched, but the Right People don’t need grenades or glitter in their eyes, they queue up and say “Wow! thanks! awesomesauce!”

    And, Catherine, I think the key to getting to the next stage is finding (even more specifically) what THOSE people want and finding a few more of them.
    But this is just a theory, as I’m in that space of figuring-it-out too 🙂

    And darling Tara, you’re balancing this well. Seriously. I appreciate it SO much!

    As a buyer, what I like to see is simple: enough warning if the thing is truly limited. Explanations of WHY it’s limited (like, it’s a live class with a set start date, or it relies on your personal one-on-one time which is obviously limited!) and enough information (maybe samples of what’s inside) to make an educated decision.
    But yes, TIME! I need time to sleep on it (that’s my personal rule: no purchases until I slept and woke up and lived my offline life) and think about it and check-in on if it’s really right.

    As a seller, I try to forget everything and plan the whole thing like a brunch (but you knew that, right?) that puts them at ease and fills their belly. No drunkenness, just mimosas!

  24. Grace
    May 5, 2011 | 11:14 pm

    Fabeku, I love your responses.

    Two in particular:

    1. How can we as a community brainstorm better ways?

    2. Connection, connection, connection – as Bridget said (and you, and at least one other person – sorry, it’s late and I’m not remembering everyone’s names or comments!), it’s about the classic know you/like you/trust you triad.

    At the same time, it’s flippin’ frustrating to see the concussion-grenaders succeeded AND making it more difficult in some ways, I think, for those of us who don’t bomb people to get our messages through. It’s those thick filters – as you say, they get thicker when the grenades hit. And that means the know/like/trust triad has to be taken just that much further.

    I’m not meaning to complain, so I’m sorry if it’s coming across that way. I’m really just trying to problem-solve, brainstorm, generate ideas about what it takes to get a message out without the bombing. Because honestly (gulp!), I’d rather go back to a corporate job if my only other option was to use marketing techniques like that!

  25. Jen
    May 5, 2011 | 11:32 pm

    Ack! I don’t like the grenade concussion sell. I prefer the honest sell…tell me what you have, let me decide. Tell me who you are, let me connect. Tell me how much it is, let me check my budget — period. If we don’t connect, if I don’t want what you have (even if I need it or something like it), or if it isn’t in the budget, then I don’t need it. I totally believe life is short and I want people to have the life they want now, but if pressure tactics hurts them, makes a sad person more sad, a desperate person feel more hopeless….then the mission has failed before a purchase has been made, right?

    My experience off-line and on, can be summed up by Bonnie Rait “I can’t make you love me, if you don’t”. I’m not making 5K a month either, so take it how you choose 😀 I’ve sold a variety of handmade items in my life though and time, good communication with customers and collaborators, listening (with ears, eyes, heart, and spirit), establishing trust, and providing quality go a long way. I don’t think those steps can be skipped, so if someones offering hurry up, fast, and now…somethin’ ain’t right…maybe not with the product, but definitely with the message.

  26. Elana
    May 5, 2011 | 11:46 pm

    Hi! Fabeku, I enjoyed your video. You spoke to one of the reasons I actually decided to take a break from Twitter…I got really tired of the LOUD MARKETING FARTS that were being BLOWN IN MY FACE. Kinda like the CAPS that I’m currently USING. There were other things I was noticing that were turning my stomach too. Anyway, apart from opting to follow just the Archbishop Diocese of WhomeverLand and Louis CK I just decided it was breaky-breaky time…Here is the kicker: I am not even a ‘biz’ person. I am not a marketer, or an ‘expert’…I bought a shiny happy product from someone almost a year ago and it was $99 down the tubes. I did listen to the audio and even did the exercises. It was hyped up bogus bullshizzle that I could have written myself, and far better. It was backed by some BIGGIES on the internet…And frankly it wasn’t worth a fiddler’s fart. Since then I have not purchased anything but your 9.99 DLYS kit (which is fantastic!) and had an amazing session from Bridget. I have seen some products that look tantalizing, but my instincts and wallet told me to keep my pants on. *Phew* I am one of those customers that can smell a rancid marketing fart masked in Chanel No. 5 a mile away – thank goodness! All of that glam and glitter is nothing but a fart in a mitten (I’m really hardcore into the fart as metaphor thing, can you tell?).

    My rules for purchasing:

    1) Until you have seen/ heard/ smelled how good it is from someone you know and trust – keep your money where your wallet is.

    2) The bigger the bang the quicker the fizzle.

    3) Don’t eat yellow snow.

    Thanks for the great article. The honesty. And for being a perfect Fabeku : )

  27. Joely Black
    May 6, 2011 | 1:47 am

    I think I’m going to come at this as a buyer, a prospect, because that’s what I am in these situations.

    I’m so glad you’ve spoken out about this because I have felt deluged by the “You must do this! You must do that!”

    I have a lot of pain buttons right now, and it is so easy to feel that frenzy of trying to solve problems in my life plus not knowing what to do, plus feeling like I have to get this thing now, and it’s easy to lose the focus, the sense that I can say “Do I really need this in my life?”

    I do feel pressured and I have to say I’ve been avoiding anyone or anything where there is a feeling of pressure to “fix” what’s “wrong” with me that I can’t sell a billion books a day or whatever it is that’s up.

    It is really nice to hear somebody actually sounding like they *care* about customers and prospective customers rather than treating us as money things that can be milked for all it’s worth.

  28. LaShae
    May 6, 2011 | 8:01 am

    I’m going to go out of context almost immediately and head out into the real world.

    We accept shock and awe marketing because we are overstimulated.

    How much attention do you pay in the grocery store to all the multi-colored boxes, bags and pouches of items? Displayed under bright fluorescent lights, with piped in muzac and the sounds of shopping cart wheels rolling on polished concrete floors. Ahh get a whiff of all the mingled smells.

    Sensual. Over. Stimulation, along with a pyschological filtering out where we somehow manage to downplay all that “stuff”. We don’t NOTICE everything on the shelf. We go in for what we want on our list and maybe pay attention to the sampler lady or the big bold New and Improved sticker on the box of brand X that catches our eye. It’s this phenomenon the shockers and awers are both trying to get around and are also using.

    Every single one of those products on the shelf is vying for our attention and our purchasing dollars, as are the shockers and awers online.

    Why did we buy the blue brand of X from this particular shocker and awer instead of the red brand of X from the less shock, less awe marketer?

    They both offer X – but one of them grabbed our attention through shock and awe at some point.

    We wanted something. We expected it. Shockers and awers used that knowledge about us expertly enough to 1. grab our attention and 2. either fool us or deliver for us.

    The only thing we own with brand X is our experience.

    If it does not work for us, even after we’ve purchased, return it. If the experience we were led to expect through the use of shock and awe, is crap, return it.

    I’ll do it with a 2.49 cent bag of chips and I’ll do it with a $2,499 extra sparkly transformational online package.

    So, yes, I’m disagreeing. I’m all for the idea of using shock and awe.

    The part I completely totally undeniably irrevocably agree with Fabeku on, is we, the people are responsible.

    I’m wondering when we, the people who are buying from “concussion grenade marketing” (cause I still do) are going to begin calling the shockers and awer’s on it out loud, in print, in perpetuity?

    Like I said, I like shock and awe – who doesn’t love a good show?

    I just take what I need from the show, while humming, “you can’t always get what you want” as protection from the shocker and the awer, especially when what they want is my money and what I want is to keep my money. (I readily admit I’m a lot jaded.)

  29. Dick Carlson
    May 6, 2011 | 8:21 am

    Huzzah! Huzzah!

    I’ve been keeping mum on this, because some of these folks are friends of mine. And, while I’m glad they’re filling up their purses, it’s a little off-putting that they feel their products have to be whipped like a dead horse to get folks to buy them.

    After many years in sales, my level of purchase resistance rises exponentially with the amount of “You’ve Got To Buy Now” noise you throw at me. So I rarely buy any of the shiny objects. I understand how they’re using scarcity and people’s fear to push buttons, and it makes me wonder if there’s a problem with the product or if it just doesn’t have much value.

    Nobody’s doing that for the BMW M7, the Telsa Roadster, or the Vario Perfect. (If you like this comment, please just purchase one of those and have them shipped to “TechHerding, c/o South Carolina.)

    God took Billy Mayes long before his time. I’m just sayin’ . . .

  30. patti digh
    May 6, 2011 | 8:58 am

    Amen.

    Mostly, this kind of marketing pathologizes being human, as if being human (with all its glorious warts) isn’t enough. As if there is an answer outside of ourselves and only this person knows it and can share it with us. As if “how” is more important than “why.”

    That is just bullshit. What happens if we make strong offers into the world and let the world decide? Not from a place of panic or lack, but from a place of knowing and peacefulness in the recognition that no matter how much marketers like this try to prove it is otherwise, we truly are not broken and don’t need to be fixed. That we choose other definitions of wealth.

    Make strong offers. Offers that are healthy, that presuppose the health and beauty and wisdom of your audience, that are wise and grounded and quiet.

  31. Erica
    May 6, 2011 | 9:33 am

    Hm; I’m with LaShae AND Patti.

    I like what you said to Grace, Fabeku: “We can stand up to this stuff + say no. But we also need to figure out how to build new bridges.” This is key for two reasons. We can say no, and I think we can take more responsibility in asking whether x, y, or z product or program is right for us at any given time before hitting the ‘buy now’ button. I’m not sure I feel it’s always fair to blame the marketer; these marketers exist because many ARE clicking their ‘buy now’ button. But we don’t have to be one of them; the choice always remains with the purchaser, pain points or not.

    You touched on a critical component during your video; we’re buying charisma, an experience with the person, and not always for the product itself. And I think that ties into the points Patti raised; those pain points are powerful indeed.

    On the other hand, those of us, like Randy, who are too shy to push, push, push are left with the choice of either remaining silent or embodying a “me too” philosophy. There are different (better?) bridges to be built. I’ll be damned if I build my work in this world on formulaic “do-this-not-that” bullshit. The very nature of my work forbids it, as does my desire to continue relationships with clients long after we’ve worked together.

    In this sense, Patti nailed it. “What happens if we make strong offers into the world and let the world decide? Not from a place of panic or lack, but from a place of knowing and peacefulness in the recognition that no matter how much marketers like this try to prove it is otherwise, we truly are not broken and don’t need to be fixed.” DING. I think complications arise when we want business growth NOW, rather than letting our individual work in this world grow organically, through truthful communications and natural relationships. There are a lot of us who are working within a new paradigm (everyone here included); businesses built on give-and-take, true value and practical problem-solving (and relief giving), and mutual respect.

    This is a critical discussion; thanks Fabeku, for giving us the space.

  32. Dick Carlson
    May 6, 2011 | 12:35 pm

    Sorry — I just had to come back. Possibly the worst of all are the “Sorry — I just had to re-send the email because I forgot the link.” Or “I got the date wrong.” Or “I didn’t tell you about the special discount.”

    Don’t these people think that we eventually notice that EVERY STINKING TIME THEY SEND A PROMOTION they immediately send a “forgot” email? That this technique is actually TAUGHT IN THEIR DISGUSTING LITTLE SEMINARS ON HOW TO GET RICH ON THE INTERWEBS?

    Wish I knew somebody who sold tapes that would calm me down…

  33. chris zydel
    May 6, 2011 | 2:21 pm

    So much goodness here… first of all from you, and also from all the genius people who are commenting. And I’m soooooo glad that someone ( i.e. YOU) is coming out and talking about this stuff. Because it’s one of those things that feels so entrenched and like it could never change because it’s just so ubiquitous.

    And like you said… unfortunately it works… or at least it works if what you really want is to make a lot of money. Now Goddess knows, I have no objections to making money…. but I don’t want to have to distract and abuse and overwhelm people to do it.

    Call me old fashioned but I actually LIKE the idea that someone is deciding to hire me or buy something from me because they’ve actually taken the time to think about it and they know it’s something they really want.

    I don’t have much else to add except to say that I just LOVED:

    http://www.whatthefuck.com
    The grenade launching analogy
    Your clarity about this whole issue
    And of course I completely adore YOU!!!

    And one other thing: I am totally confident that you are in ZERO danger of ever becoming a grenade launcher yourself. I actually think that you are constitutionally incapable of behaving in that manner.

    You are just way too big hearted and sensitive and tuned into people to ever treat them that way. Just sayin’ (-:

  34. Juliana
    May 6, 2011 | 5:02 pm

    One of the terrors I experience as I’m starting up my new coaching business is that the way I feel pressured to market is SO COUNTER to my personality and the nature of my service.

    I want to serve lovingly, warmly, and with some humor…not with concussion grenades! I’ve done a pretty “soft” launch of my coaching services and have tried not to bombard people, but the idea that everything is supposed to be Fast and Flashy has been bothering me.

    Thank you for this refreshing glass of It-Doesn’t-Have-To-Be-Like-That. It makes me feel better about the way I am choosing to do things right now.

  35. Sparky Firepants
    May 6, 2011 | 6:51 pm

    First, allow me to jump on the Fabeku Did an Awesome train. The fact that you’re able to speak with clarity about this on the fly (without an editing net) is killer.

    There’s such a huge difference between telling your customers you have something new for them and beating everyone on the planet with a “buy my shit” stick.

    Lately I’ve been unsubscribing from a lot of email lists that used to provide helpful information but have downgraded to Just Buy My Shit status. Disappointing. Not helpful. Taking up my time and space.

    The funny thing is, many of the programs espouse finding your right people. The logic being that once you have your right people, you don’t have to force your stuff down their throats. I agree with this logic, but I see contradictions everywhere. Bothersome.

    I’ve learned this lesson myself. I’ll hear from someone on my email list or a blog reader who says, “Oh yeah, I saw that thing you did last September. That was neato.”

    I’ve heard this often enough to realize that people are reading and listening. Sometimes they grab. Sometimes they leave it on the shelf. So when I think about the times I heard crickets chirping and decided my best course of action was to cram my thing into more eyeballs, I cringe. Ouch, but lesson learned.

    So I empathize with the eyeball-crammers because I know they really, really, really need to sell their shit. It’s kinda obvious.

    At the same time I have to get them out of my view because they start clouding my focus. So I unsub. I delete. I get down to my own beeswax.

    It’s so simple. If I like you, I’ll sign up for your updates. I’ll follow you on Twitter and FB. If you offer something that’s for me, I’ll know it right away. If not, you might have something I’ll grab later on. If you respect my attention and your time in my eyeballs, I’ll keep reading. If you throw grenades, I’m gonna split.

  36. Connie
    May 7, 2011 | 6:06 pm

    MAKE ART…Not Concussion Grenade Marketing!!

    Keep rockin’ on with your bad self Fabeku!

    BIG Hugs!

  37. Fabeku
    May 8, 2011 | 11:53 am

    @Catherine – Yeah, the old stuff is pretty loud. But the new stuff is already out there. Not as loud. But there. And definitely effective. There’s some work to do fleshing it out. But it seems really doable to me.

    @Claudia – I think you’re totally right about the short term vs long term thing. And I get why that’s appealing to people. But, oy. So short sighted.

    The approach might make piles of bucks now. But how sustainable is it? What happens in a year or five years? I wish more people had the perspective on it that you do.

    And sorry about the blergh experiences. That’s the kind of stuff that makes me sad. Full. Of. Suck.

    I’m with you 100% on the creating-quality-stuff-that-people-come-back-for. And I grok the waiting thing too.

    @Alexia – The slime-ey vibe gets pretty thick sometimes, doesn’t it?

    Sorry to hear about the yuck experience.

    I get what you mean about the damage too. I think this kind of marketing – no matter what angle it takes – hurts everyone. The audience. Other business folks. And the people doing it to begin with. It may feel like a win. But I think, big picture, it’s not.

    And what you said about balance seems key to me.

    @Joan – Sure thing! Glad it landed well.

    @TaraEnough time is such a big part of this, isn’t it?

    There are some tactics – like the concussion grenade stuff – that compress time on purpose. Lots of tiny windows + rushrushrush.

    I think giving people room to think is good. Will it fall of some people’s radar that way? Sure. But not the people who really feel a pull + just need to sleep on it/check monies/check the timing.

    I’m a big advocate of making room for things. Including decisions.

    I also think your no-purchases-until-I’ve-slept-on-it approach is super smart.

    @Grace – Right on. I think connection is the secret sauce. Real connection. Not the buzzword-ey kind.

    And I so get the frustration. I’ve felt it before too. I try to zoom out + look at the big picture. The perspective helps. But it’s not always easy to find when feeling le suck.

    I also think the concussion grenade can make things harder and easier. Both.

    Yeah, it can make people develop thicker filters. But it also pushes people who are sick to death of this shit to a place where they deeply appreciate + are attracted to + respond to people who don’t roll this way.

    (p.s. I don’t think you’re complaining at all. And, even if you were, it’s ok. But I get the spirit behind what you’re saying.)

    @Jen – Yes! Why add to someone’s suck by pressuring them? Sure, it’s ultimately their responsibility. But if I’m leaning hard + being twisty, I have a definite responsibility there too.

    And I think you’re right on with the steps-that-can’t-be-skipped stuff. I know how hard it can be when you want something to happen nownownow. But if that gets built on a shaky foundation, there will be problems somewhere down the line. (+1 for the Bonnie Rait reference.(

    @Elana – I’ve noticed the vibe shift on the twitters. And so have a lot of other folks. (Been having lots of chats about that. A post or video or something is forthcoming.)

    It’s so frustrating to spend moolah on something and not love or feel like it’s worth it.

    I know that sometimes it’s just a case of not-the-right-fit. That happens. Even to honest people selling good stuff.

    That’s why I think guarantees are so important. Not to try to lure someone to buy. But to give people an option if they genuinely don’t dig what they bought.

    And sometimes it’s less about fit + more about the problem itself just not having enough mojo.

    When I’m creating something, I try to look at it from the other side. How would I feel if I spent $XXX on this?

    That means not drinking your own kool aid + being able to admit when something’s not quite there. Not easy. But so important, I think.

    Joely – This stuff is hard when someone doesn’t have a ton of pain points. And it gets a zillion times harder when the pain is so close.

    I wish that so much marketing wasn’t aimed at the pain. At least not turning up the volume on it. It’s one thing to let someone you know you see them. It’s another thing to lean on what hurts to get someone to jump. I don’t dig that even a little.

    And the whole making-someone-feel-broken just sucks. Period. Not two ways around that.

    And I’m with you on the money milk thing. Ugh.

    @LaShae – We see things differently. Which is completely ok. But can I just say thanks for disagreeing in such a respectful + clean way? That’s awesome + appreciated.

    I get what you mean with the grocery store. And I think you’re right on there.

    I see the online stuff I’m talking about is a little different. Because we’re not dealing with big faceless brands.

    I don’t know (or have a relationship with) the face behind Cheez-Its. But I do have relationships with the biz-ey peeps I hang out with online.

    I know Chris from Creative Juices Arts. And Lisa B from Zen At Play. And Naomi from IttyBiz.

    These are people with names + faces + relationships.

    So, for me, those are bridges that don’t require those folks to jump up and down or hit me with grenades.

    I don’t think all buying decisions come down to being seduced by shock + awe at some point. There are so many other things influencing things. Especially when there are names + faces + relationships involved.

    I’m not so sure that the same tactics used to market Cheez-Its are the best choice for tiny businesses where the people are front and center.

    I’m not saying those tactics don’t work sometimes. But I’m not sure they’re the best route.

    I’m with you 100% on the responsibility part. And I dig the humming-as-a-force-field thing. You’re speakin’ my language. (grin)

    @Dick – That’s the thing. I start to wonder about the product/service/whatever when someone’s flogging it so hard.

    I mean, does it really need that? And, if so, that seems like a red flag to me.

    There’s a certain level of confidence + sexiness when people just put their stuff out there in a clear, straightforward way and let people make a decision.

    That translates to someone on the verge of clicking buy now.

    And your car examples illustrates eggsactly what I mean.

    There are no neon signs + clowns + disco balls outside a Mercedes dealer. (Not that I have anything against disco balls.)

    Smart stuff. Big things.

    @PattiPathologizing being human. Wow. I felt a big aha! go off in my brain when I read that. A missing piece falling into place.

    That’s so completely true. Big thanks for the perspective + wisdom there.

    And, yeah, playing up the I’m-the-only-person-who-can-give-you-the-answer thing is total bullshit. And it preys on some of the most painful parts of someone’s psyche. Gross + wrong. Really.

    And this?

    “Make strong offers. Offers that are healthy, that presuppose the health and beauty and wisdom of your audience, that are wise and grounded and quiet.”

    Yesyesyes. Dead on.

    @Erica – I agree that personal responsibility is crazy important. Ultimately it’s our choice. Period.

    And I also think that nothing happens in isolation. There are so many levels of influence.

    If I make a decision to target your pain + to press on it until you jump, I feel like I’m partly responsible for you jumping.

    Everyone puts some energy into the mix. And we’re all responsible for our part.

    The charisma thing is a big deal, isn’t it?

    And ultimately I don’t have a big argument with charisma being a part of the equation. But only if the experience matches what people are needing + expecting. Only if someone is really delivering the goods + not just relying on personality over substance.

    I think you’re spinning real smarts when you talk about the now vs later thing. Every thing you said in that paragraph has me nodding + shouting a big hell yeah!

    And, yes, there totally are different bridges to be built. Bridges that are clean + comfortable + also totally effective.

    I love seeing so many bridge builders here in the comments. Including your fabulous self.

    @Dick – Oy. That one is so tired + so obvious.

    Sure. There are times when someone legitimately forgets. And that never bothers me.

    But when this oops-I-did-it-again happens pretty much every time they’re selling something, it seems pretty obvious what’s up.

    And to teach this as a tactic? Puke.

    If that’s what you have to do to stay in front of people, something’s wrong.

    @Chris – I’m with you. I love making money. I’m all for it. There’s nothing wrong or bad or evil about money and the making of it.

    I just want to do it in a way where everybody feels clean at the end of the day.

    And I so agree with what you said about knowing that someone hired you because they’re digging you like crazy. There’s something seriously awesome about that.

    It kind of reminds of the guys I’ve know that get phone numbers by buying woman a ton of drinks + getting them drunk enough to pass on the digits.

    If that’s how someone has to roll, something’s up. I say figure out the problem + fix it. Don’t keep buy drinks. Or dropping grenades.

    (p.s. Thanks for your sweetness. Totally appreciated.)

    @Juliana – This is hard, isn’t it? I’ve felt the same way before. Like if I’m going to make money and do well and not be left eating cat food under a bridge I had to market in ways that so don’t fit.

    Thankfully I know now that’s totally not true.

    But trusting that? Scary as hell.

    So can I just say again that you can totally do it in a way that works for you + serve up your brilliance to people who need it + make the moolah.

    You can have all of it. For sure.

    @Mr. Pants – The buy-my-shit stick! Brilliant!

    And, yeah, huge difference. It’s a totally different approach. And I think it comes from a really different place inside the person who’s doing it. (Which is why being clear about where you’re at + where you’re coming from is crazy important.)

    Been seeing a lot of the downgrades happening too. Maybe people are just getting busier. But, really, I’d rather see someone make their newsletter disappear than just turn it into an endless loop of buy-my-shit-ness.

    I’ve also noticed the irony of the find-your-right-people thing happening alongside of frequent bombings. Cue the cognitive dissonance.

    I’m with you on the empathy. It’s a hard situation. People need to make money to live. And sometimes this seems like the easiest way. But that desperation comes through so clearly.

    And your summary of the simpleness? Right on.

    @Connie – Thanks you!

    I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate every single word shared by every single person here.

    This is such an important topic.

    There will be many more discussions to come. I hope you’ll all hang out + chime in.

    Because you’re all made of brilliance.

  38. Mark Silver
    May 11, 2011 | 11:53 am

    I know I’m late to the party, but just had to comment. First off, I agree 100% with you, dude. You’ve put it out really clearly, and I don’t need to repeat it.

    And although this point was made above, let me repeat it: all of you good, heart-centered people out there, don’t hide what you’ve got under a blanket because you’re afraid of being a concussion grenade. If you are really afraid of doing that, then I’m going to guess that by the time you actually feel like you’ve thrown a concussion grenade, you may have actually spoken up loudly enough for someone to hear you.

    🙂

    So please, don’t hold back your good stuff from the people who need it.

    Second point: Leaning on the pain points all the way to the point of purchase is manipulation. However, you really need to mention the pain points because *people are in pain.* Do it with an open heart, with sincerity, and what you are doing is empathizing with them in a way that can be very, very healing, even if they don’t buy from you.

    Don’t skitter away from talking about the pain, be empathetic, witness people in their pain- it increases trust and let’s people know that you really see and care about them.

    I just had to add those points. Thanks for letting me. Love you all.

  39. Fabeku
    May 11, 2011 | 12:03 pm

    @Mark – No worries. No lateness. The party’s still going on + you’re welcome anytime.

    I agree totally about the don’t-be-afraid part. Because, again, if you’re the kind of person who worries about this stuff, you’ll probably never be a grenade thrower. And the world needs the gorgeousness that you have to share!

    I also agree about the pain points too.

    There’s a huge difference between recognizing someone’s pain + using it to twist their arm. One lets a person feel seen + feel safe. Another leaves them feel, well, bombed.

    Some of the gross marketing stuff has really twisted stuff that can be used for good. Tossing it out altogether probably isn’t the best fix. We can reclaim it + restore it.

    Thanks for the smarts, brother. Totally appreciated.

  40. Lisa Manyon
    May 11, 2011 | 3:43 pm

    You are speaking my language. Thanks so much for sharing with such clarity and uncensored goodness. 🙂

    Write on!~

    Lisa

  41. Grace
    May 11, 2011 | 8:14 pm

    Yesyesyes. As one very smart colleague of mine put it: you have to let someone “empty themselves” of their problem before you can pour in your solution to the problem. They can’t even hear what you have to say until they’ve done that.

    The thing is, on a website we can’t have a real conversation with them, so they can’t talk to us about the problem. But we can engage with our own empathy and understanding of the problems our clients face – recognizing and honouring their pain and struggle – so that they feel the equivalent of that emptying process.

    And then when we show them how we can help, they’re ready to hear it and take it in … and take advantage of it.

  42. Pam/Moon'sLark
    May 12, 2011 | 12:06 am

    OH THANK YOU THANK YOU…
    I have been having this dissatisfied feeling lately with people I had previously felt that I had a relationship with (although that friendship seems to have evaporated because they are too busy to communicate with people unless it is about whatever they are selling).
    I got caught in this sort of “flash bomb” type thing with a few of the products that were offered last year… each and every time I felt the frenzy push and bought, and regretted. Not because the products were bad in any way… but because they were not right for ME, but I felt that it was just me that wasn’t getting it! I even recieved a reduced rate to one “program” — I ended up backing out of that one because even if the program was a great one, the set up was clunky and the message was not clear and the format was not set up unless I was seeking to go into business for myself creating similar products (classes? not sure how to classify this)…
    Since that time I have noticed that every email tI get from this business mentions (several times, over and over) whatever current program they are selling, every blog post sells it or pushes it, and I am even getting “please promote our thing” emails from them because I bought and promoted things BEFORE…
    It is starting to sour how I feel about the business owners as people. No matter how lovely they are, no matter how wonderful their message, I feel beaten over the head to buy and subscribe and adopt and promote and be an affiliate and retweet and… and…
    I am not broken. I am not looking to be “coached” into healing. I am not looking to be fixed. I am looking for connection to other people that is genuine and respectful. I am not looking to go into business for myself at all — not as a writer, not as a blogger, not as a life coach, not with whatever mysterious skill i have — I am just looking for people who respond in kind to comments, who might comment on a blog post, who might encourage me to be better. If they happen to offer soemthing that I want to try and I can afford it (I hate to have to say it, but for me MONEY is the hardest thing to come up with, not time or commitment) I will quietly sign up. If they are good to me, if the course is useful, if what I buy lives up to my needs, I might promote it… but I don’t need to be constantly counted down to or rushed to buy before time runs out…

  43. Fabeku
    May 12, 2011 | 7:39 am

    @Lisa – Right on. Glad you dug it. Thanks for saying so.

    Grace – I think you’re right on here. Making space is a huge part of making anything happen. And when someone is struggling, they can be wrapped around that struggle – holding it tight, holding it in.

    But when they’re seen they relax a little. They get that someone gets them. And they open to the possibility of being helped.

    And, like Mark said, even if they don’t end up buying from us, just knowing someone gets them + has seen them is a big deal.

    Being able to speak to someone’s pain (without leaning in to get someone to jump) can create a totally gorgeous feeling of relief and safety and hope. That’s good mojo!

    And this feels way different than using pain as an agent of twistiness. Completely different vibe.

    @Pam – The beaten-over-the-head feeling sucks, doesn’t it? Especially when it comes from people we really dig.

    I think that’s one really unfortunate part of all of this. That some genuinely kind, fabulous, well-meaning people have adopted these tactics.

    Not because they’re trying to be gross. But because these examples are all over the place. And they’re the loudest examples around.

    That’s one reason I think this discussion is so important – so people selling stuff can come up with better alternatives to the grossness.

    The other reason, of course, is so that people on buying end of things don’t end up in situations where they jump on something that’s not right for them for whatever reason. And that so they don’t buy into the you’re-broken-I’ll-fix-you message. Which, of course, is complete bullshit.

  44. Fabeku
    May 12, 2011 | 7:42 am

    Hey peeps.

    I am so stoked this discussion is still going on. (And with so much smartness!)

    Just posted a new video. Take a peek.

    https://www.fabeku.com/blog/swim-with-da-fishes-marketing/

    Let’s keep talking.

  45. Grace
    May 12, 2011 | 11:10 am

    Fabeku, yes, you’ve nailed it in what you said in response to my post. The feeling of relief and opening to the possibility of help and healing.

    I learned from Mark (years ago now!) that this is what marketing is really about – and that was what opened the door for me to stop feeling weird about marketing my stuff. And as I started to experience – in what my clients were discovering and learning, and in what they said to me about it – what I really do help them do, that fed back into the marketing conversation so that I could keep getting more on-target in how I was able to let them know that I can and do see and understand. Which becomes this lovely spiral of then being able to help them do the same thing for their clients.

    All of which is to say that this process of authentic, ethical, honourable marketing doesn’t just help us sell stuff. It helps us know what to offer – what’s really needed. It helps us help our clients that much more effectively.

    ::phew:: Sorry. I get really wrapped up in this.

    I think the gap for the concussion-grenade marketers (and the swim-with-da-fishes folks in your next post) is that they don’t take the time and effort to really, deeply understand what their customers want and need to hear. It could be anything from fear and anxiety about making money NOW, or fear of what they might learn, or feeling like they don’t know how… or whatever. But there it is.

    Enough from me! I’ll stop now! 🙂

  46. Biren
    February 16, 2012 | 8:35 pm

    spot on, fah-BAY-koo…
    🙂

    feeling avenged…

    o-ssum.
    love/b.

  47. My Courageous Life
    March 11, 2012 | 1:10 am

    If this is a shit way of marketing then why is it so effective as you pointed out?

  48. Pearl Klein
    March 11, 2012 | 4:12 pm

    Thank you for talking about this. I recently succumbed to one of these pitches for an online course that sounded like it would change my life. I failed to read the fine print (of which there was a ton, and a lot of scrolling to get to the real information, which should have been a tip-off), and when I figured out at the start of the course that it wouldn’t work for my learning style, I asked for a refund. No, that was only possible if I completed the course and then found out it hadn’t changed my life.

    So the blitz encouraged me to buy into multiple problems: the endless scroll-down with prices at the bottom of the page, the emotional barrage of the concussion grenade, and the strings-attached refund policy. I hereby swear to use better tactics myself.

  49. Fabeku
    March 29, 2012 | 10:31 pm

    @MCL – Because it disorients people + then applies pressure when it’s time to make a decision. It’s not hard to get people to do what you want when you’ve knocked them off center. It’s also not a way to build a sustainable audience. Most people who use these tactics aren’t worried about that.

    @Pearl – Total suck. I’m sorry about the experience you had. I think we’ve all been there – or at least close – before. And I completely get how much it sucks. Maybe the biggest gift is the clarity + the commitment to do it differently yourself. Thumbs up there + thanks for your honesty.

  50. Yvonne Peraza
    March 26, 2014 | 9:20 pm

    Wow! You put a voice to my feelings. I’ve gone threw the grenade- dropping confetti-throwing bullshit. I have no problem investing in myself but I find that a lot of these so called entrepreneurs/coaches are investing in themselves with my money. Sigh! I’m tired of the “only a few seats left,” “will not be offered again,” “learn how to earn 6 figures” wait scratch that “7 figures in your business” blah blah blah!!!! I’ve spent a lot of money and I’m still stuck. So, I’m gonna recover my moola and invest again in myself. This time it’ll be with you Fabeku. I’m liking your style, it feels good… 🙂

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL https://www.fabeku.com/blog/concussion-grenade-marketing/trackback/
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.