Never Get Ripped Off Again – For Your Time
Time is precious. It’s something many don’t have a lot of today and it’s something you can’t get back. How do you avoid wasting your precious time? By taking the time upfront to get specific information when people request your time.
I learned this the hard way. I had a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time trick me into going to lunch with her to “catch up.” When I was on the way to the lunch she asked if her friend could join us. The friend was her upline in the business and It turned into a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) pitch for a healthcare line from her upline. They waited until after we ordered food to start fire hosing me with information. I upset that I got tricked into wasting my time on something I wasn’t going to buy anyway. The upline left to meet another friend and I took the time to coach my friend to never do that to people again. It appears MLM’s are still teaching people to trick a person into hearing a pitch.
Another friend asked for a call to talk to me about something. She said it was important. It ended up being a pitch for another MLM.
I have nothing against MLM’s. I’m in a few for personal use and was a Mary Kay Consultant for many years. I still do that for personal use and a couple people order from me when I place my order. Mary Kay never taught us to trick people into hearing about the opportunity to be a Mary Kay consultant.
Here are a couple of tips to avoid wasting your time or getting caught up in a call or meeting that turns into a pitch.
1. Pay attention to the buzz words. I remember many years ago when I was active duty in the Air Force, the buzz word was wanting to talk about “network marketing” that was for Amway mostly. Relationship marketing is the newer buzz words for MLM. For other services the buzz words are let’s have a “quick call” to find out how we can “work together”. These are usually buzz words for a pitch phone call for someone to pitch you their services. I usually get these kinds of messages on Linked In
Think about it. If the person who is reaching out to connect wants to have a call to find out how you can work together, how would you possibly work with someone who isn’t in your industry or doesn’t have the network to work with you or doesn’t need your services?
I have 2 businesses; I have a speaking and training company and I have a business selling handcrafted goods made by women in Kenya. The latter business isn’t listed on my Linked In profile in detail so unless someone knows me personally, they wouldn’t be connecting about that business on Linked In.
I have had financial advisers, speaker coaches, Linked In profile coaches, fitness coaches etc contact me with requests for a connection or a “quick call” to find out how we can work together. They aren’t corporations or event planners so there’s no way they would contract me to work. Referrals are always a possibility but that’s not “working together.”
2. When someone asks you for a call, ask them what it’s about and ask them to be specific. I recently had a message from someone I don’t know personally ask in a message “When you have some time to talk for a few minutes?” (that was the exact phrase) I asked, “what about?” He said, “Government contracts.” I asked for more details and did he have work for me and didn’t get a response. I’m not sure what he really wanted but I am not going to get on a call with someone who won’t tell me what the call is about specifically. I had another friend who was having an event ask to talk to me and I asked what about and she said I’ll tell you on the call. I asked again if she would tell me what it’s about and she said forget it. Ok no problem, not taking a call unless I know what it’s about. Sorry.
3. Take the time to look at the profile of someone who is sending out requests to connect on social media. On Instagram alone I have reported and had over 100 profiles removed because they were fake. On Facebook I get requests from people all the time that I don’t know and not sure why they are connecting with me. I don’t accept them all especially those that are polar opposite to my values, and I see they are posting negative vile comments about things. I don’t need that in my life. On Linked In, I look at the profile closely. If someone says they want to connect I may accept it, if a pitch comes right after, I remove the connection. Be diligent with your social media. Avoid time wasters that will take you off course of your work.
The pitch that made me laugh – I once got a message from a retired veteran asking me to get on a call with him to find out how to lose 2 belt sizes which for a woman is like 2 dress sizes. That would make me a size 0 which would be unhealthy. I told the guy he needs to pay attention to his market.
Time is something we can’t get back. I’ve learned a lot about people who want to waste my time. I don’t mind helping people by sharing an answer to a question of some of my expertise. Recently I met up with a veteran who had a Government contracting question about how the system works. He told me up front what he wanted to meet about, we scheduled the meeting and I spent a little over an hour sharing my expertise with him. Do I do that with everyone? No, I don’t have the time and I also charge people a consulting fee to help with things like that depending on how much detail or work they need.
Be cognizant of giving your time away for free. People will be happy to take what they can get. Be willing to help to a certain degree but know where to draw the line.