Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Who Am I?  Do you really care?  Or are do you see me as just another conquest in your money making fantasies?

by Dave Cottrell

Who am I? Why are you talking to me? Where are you, anyway? When did you decide to talk to me? How did you think your approach would make me react?  What made you think I’m even interested in what you’re talking about?

Sadly, a very large number of foolish, “wannabe” online marketers don’t take two seconds to answer any of these very important questions.  This is a key reason so many fail in  marketing, BOTH online and off. 

who am I?

Almost every day, now, I get at least one phone call. There is a very long pause, while the computer lets the person at the call centre know that a real live person has answered the phone, then the voice comes on the line.

“Hi Dave. How is it going?” Often it is in very careful pronounced words with a distinctly foreign aftertaste.

“I’m doing great, thank you. What call centre are you calling from?”

That sometimes brings a click, then silence. Often times it brings a distinctly uncomfortable pause, then a quickly mumbled, “Dave, your name recently came across my desk as someone who is looking for a business opportunity.”

Wow! This person is talking to me like she knows me. How polite and professional is it to use someone’s first name on first contact.

I answer, “No, ma’am. Your picked up the phone when your computer notified you that a real human being out of all the thousands of names on the exceptionally stale and questionable lists you use answered the phone.”


Sometimes we do have a very short and polite conversation. I enjoy meeting people and have no reason to be impolite. After all, I am a business person, and business people need to be polite in practice, or they will not be in business very long.

The very sad thing is, the people who work in these call centres are often paid a small commission for every SALE, with the emphasis on SMALL. If they stop to be polite and chat with people who aren’t going to buy, they will be hungry by the end of the day. They have to move quickly, yet by moving so quickly, they are losing sales.

There is another type that is far more annoying, in my opinion, than the call centres. These are the folks who “friend” you on a social network, then immediately try to sell you something.

I had one just recently who contacted me, and all in on paragraph, in fact, in one sentence said, “Hi, I’m really glad to connect with you and look forward to getting to know you. You need to look at my opportunity right away, it’s the most fantastic thing you have ever since, you’ll make a ton of money!”

Rather than just punt him off my friend’s list, I asked him if he thought maybe it would be a good idea to find out who he’s talking to before pitching me. I asked, “George (not his real name), I have to ask you a very important question. Do you know what I do? I don’t think you do, and that does not bode well for your business.”

Bang! Was he quick. He took a quick glance and saw I was a pastor. He then gushed, “what is behind this is a mission to end world hunger and I think you will be very excited about it once you hear how this works” Do you think maybe he had a script in his hand?

Now there’s no question in my mind, at all. Not only does this man not know me, he doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. He has just told me that he doesn’t know anything about me and doesn’t know anything about human nature – OR – he is an outright liar and will say anything he thinks might suck me in.

I answered back, still polite, “Thank you , George. I am not interested at all, but thanks for thinking of me.”

You would perhaps think he would have gotten the hint. But no… he continued! “…we are mobilising (sic) the christian church world wide in this effort if you want more info anytime let me know.” Now I have no further doubts that he either has been completely buffaloed and sucked in himself, which means he has done utter zip for due diligence, or he hasn’t got a clue about history or anything else, both of which says he’s not very smart, or he is a complete crook who will make up anything as he goes to make a sale. Either way, this guy will NEVER get beyond this point with me.

Not only am I not interested in the so called business opportunity (if that is what it is) that he is hawking, I have absolutely NO desire to ever work with him on anything at any time, and would definitely never send him an invitation to become involved in anything I’m doing.

To be fair, this gentleman is not all that unusual or unique. There are thousands and thousands of folks like him, blindly running around in the wilderness of the internet world, hoping they will just accidentally stumble over that golden mother load that will make them rich.

Once upon a time, I stood in a grown over cemetery in a far away town. It was a place almost in the centre of the province of British Columbia called, Barkerville.  Who am I?

Barkerville was once the largest city in BC, and in fact, the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Chicago. It was named after Billy Barker, one of the first to discover gold there in 1861, and owner of one of the richest claims, eventually yielding some 37,500 ounces of gold.

Thousands of prospectors rushed to the area, hoping to “strike it rich.” But sadly, most of them were just as foolish as the people who rush around madly on the internet, unprepared, ill supplied, untrained, and unaware of all the dangers they would face. They didn’t even pay attention to their health, so blind were they in their pursuit of riches, and what in fact happened to many, many of these young men is that they died.

As I wandered through that old graveyard up above that historic town, I couldn’t help but notice that the average age of death was under thirty years of age. These were all young men who arrived healthy and died broke a short time later.

What was the common thread among all these young men whose remains laid buried under my feet? None of them really took the time to know anything about what they were looking for. They could have been standing on a fabulous fortune, and still died young and broke as they frantically scrambled around looking for their fortune!

In our modern gold rush, the Internet world, people are still doing the same thing. They are standing on great piles of gold, just under their feet, yet they literally cannot see it for looking.

In their mad scramble to find that elusive pot of gold, they are failing to notice they are standing in it.

Figuratively speaking, it doesn’t take many pots to get rich. It just takes one, the one with the gold in it.

Similarly, it doesn’t take thousands and thousands of prospects to make you a decent living online. It just takes a few real people who know and trust you, and who want to buy your product or service.

Therein lies the key. They KNOW you. This will never happen if you take the approach George took with me. People you treat like that are instantly on their guard and will quickly sever any connections you try to make with them.

Taking the time to get to know each person you meet is like stopping to look at the ground you’re standing on when you’re looking for gold. You almost always need to look below the surface to find it, and sometimes you have to dig deep. But just like Billy Barker, who dug up 37,500 ounces of gold, the digging is worth it!  

I have found that while I don’t sell my goods to everybody I meet – at least not right away – I have the priceless benefit of making new friends, and not only do I benefit greatly from the sweetness of friendship, but these friends often do buy things from me from time to time if I have what they need, and they are a WEALTH of referrals that would take me years to find, otherwise.

The very best way to mine the internet IS to make friends. Make it a first priority to make friends, not sales with every person you meet, and your sales will take care of themselves. Fabulous opportunities have come my way with this very approach. What you do with those opportunities is often what determines your future wealth, not how many people you try to sell something to!

Who am I? Why are you talking to me? Where are you, anyway? When did you decide to talk to me?

These are real questions people have when you first approach them. If you don’t answer them in a friendly, personal, interested, non-pushy, non-sales, informed way in a hurry, you’ve lost them. Take your time and make friends. That, after all, is something no amount of money can buy.

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  • Thank you for the SMILE. I couldn’t help but laugh as I was relating to the sales pitches I hear at least once a week. You are absolutely right. I think that people using the internet to sell something think they do not have to be personable because they will never meet you face to face. What do you think? It is also sometimes difficult not to be rude when these annoying phone calls come in and they are trying to be so polite but won’t STOP.
    Carol Graham recently posted…Losing a Child? Does the Pain Ever Stop?My Profile

  • There are many ways to deal with these calls. What I do if I’m busy and don’t recognize the person on my call display is simply not answer. If it’s important, they will leave a message. If I do answer, I very politely waste as much of their time as I possibly can and then ask them to remove my name from their list.
    Dave Cottrell recently posted…Google SlappedMy Profile


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