Sorry. I can't do everything for free!

Profile picture of the author rrm by rrm Posted: 01/23/2014
Ok, gripe time. Maybe it will help some folks.

No real gratitude. And seriously, you want me to carve out even more of my time just for you?

I'll get back to that in a minute. Or two.

The lack of social graces these days is appalling. A seller from ebay, whom I bought something from, emailed me and told me to leave him positive feedback. I told him that I liked the product and I would be glad to give him good feedback, but I wanted him to give me feedback first. I was the customer, after all. He said, "No, I don't leave feedback first. You have to." I said, "Whatever happened to the days when the seller thanked the customer for doing business with them?" He never replied. He never left me feedback. Neither did I. This has happened not once, not twice, but multiple times with different sellers.

Or, even more common, you buy a product and they ship it to your house. Maybe you get a packing slip. More often than not, for me anyway, there is absolutely no indication that they appreciate the fact that you gave them some business. I guess they figure we shouldn't gripe too much if the product made it to my house in one piece, despite being drop-kicked by the UPS or Fed Ex guys, and if it worked as advertised. Well, give you a brownie point!

Too many sellers and marketers nowadays think they are doing us a favor and we are privileged to buy their product.

There are those of you who don't care about such things one way or the other. You just accept that people are like that sometimes and you move on. Good for you. I'm moving on also. After I get through.

Far too many marketers simply want to make money. They spend a lifetime and a boat load of money learning everything they can about copywriting and psychology and networking and technology just to learn how to most efficiently squeeze every dime out of their list, or their "target market" or their customers, or whatever they want to call them. I tell you what... express a little heart-felt gratitude and you will gain, and keep, more customers. It does not take split testing or a working knowledge of the 5 greatest copywriting books of all time to know that.

Now that I've rabbit-trailed a little, here's my soup du jour issue: A warrior got in touch with me and wanted some free consult time. She has made quite a lot of posts, the vast majority of which are questions that she asks. Many warriors have stepped up to help her. She never actually helps anybody else. That's ok, though. I am not complaining about that, per se. I've often asked for help myself.

But then she wanted to schedule some telephone time so I could give her some additional consulting advice. One-on-one. She spent the entire paragraph talking about herself, what she does, where she wants to go, the kind of business she wants to run. Maybe I am selfish, but I don't care! I don't care what you used to do for a living. I don't care what you want to do in the future. I don't care that you cannot make up your mind about which direction to go, or why you don't follow the advice that a hundred other warriors have already given you.

Eternity is not my free line limit.

I am not a lonely man. I am not waiting by the phone just for someone like you to give my life meaning. I have a life. And a wife. And grandchildren. And a business. Don't try to push my free line like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. I have helped you plenty already and without any show of appreciation. Time is money. $500 per hour (you pay up front) and THEN we'll talk. I will then feel appreciated. I will then feel like my advice actually means anything. We'll talk as long as you want.

I write this for the benefit of those who might be inclined to try to take advantage of those of us who are willing to help others: Don't take it for granted. At some point we close the doors. Start by showing some appreciation for what you already get, especially considering that we owe you nothing anyway.

So, boys and girls, if you want somebody to help you, here or anywhere else, do ask, but then be grateful. If you are a warrior and you like their comment or advice, hit the thanks button. I promise it won't take much out of you. Way less than one calorie and minimal effort. A neuron or two is all it takes. And it does mean something to most people. And then, don't try to track them down to squeeze even more help out of them without offering something to them in return. Don't be a parasite.

Ron
#free

  • Profile picture of the author Kate Smith
    Kate Smith
    It sounds like you did your did your good deed for the day.

    Hopefully she really appreciates it, and will show you in some way.

    I think common courtesy is not so common anymore.

    Kate
  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    timpears
    Things have changed a lot since I was a kid, back in the sixties. People were more polite back then. It is cliche, but the world is going to hell. Sad but true.
  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    entrepreneurjay
    Well said people think you owe them something im fine with helping someone but there's a limit go out there and take action and make things happen for yourself I did so can you.

    That's my philosophy I'll give you a few pointers and point you in the right direction but after that time is money your gonna have to make it happen for yourself.
  • Profile picture of the author pizzatherapy
    pizzatherapy
    Point well taken rrm.

    I have a business that I have done some consulting with in the past. They had an incredible product, but their service was terrible. Ignoring customers, making customers wait which ultimately caused the customer to leave and never come back.

    My advice (which was ignored) was: treat every customer who comes in the door as gold. They are a king and queen, you need to to treat them that way...It doesn't matter how good your product is: if you do not respect your customers, they will never come back...

    Long story short, they closed their doors several months ago and went out of business.

    Lesson learned. You need to treat everyone who does business with you like the most important person on the planet...Learn that now or suffer in the future when they will no longer do business with you any more...

    And I think this is doubly true with on-line business. The fact that people don't see you, you do not have the ability to make a connection. You need to treat all of your customers like gold...

    I will say, though, I have dealt with a number of businesses (both on-line and off-line) who get it. They treat their customers with total respect...

    Those that do not treat you right...well they will pay the price...

    BTW: About Little Ms. Take-take-take....did she pay you the $500 per hour?

    Best of luck!
  • Profile picture of the author rrm
    rrm
    Originally Posted by timpears View Post

    Things have changed a lot since I was a kid, back in the sixties. People were more polite back then. It is cliche, but the world is going to hell. Sad but true.
    You are right about all that. I grew up then as well.

    Still praying for you and your family...

    Originally Posted by pizzatherapy View Post

    BTW: About Little Ms. Take-take-take....did she pay you the $500 per hour?
    Not yet. But I'm applying a little scarcity. Tomorrow I am going to raise it to $600 per hour!
  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    Frank Donovan
    Ron,

    Well said. It's certainly not selfish to expect a little consideration and gratitude from those to whom you dedicate your time and expertise. Sadly, with some folks, the more they're given, the more they seek to take.

    Regarding the eBay feedback issue, you should also lay some blame at the system itself. Since eBay stopped sellers from leaving negative feedback, they've been at the mercy of some unscrupulous buyers looking to exploit this disparity. It's understandable if sellers now wait for buyers' feedback before leaving their own. Of course, that doesn't stop them from sending a message of thanks to the buyer when a sale is made.


    Frank
  • Profile picture of the author TheRockstarWriter
    TheRockstarWriter
    Originally Posted by timpears View Post

    Things have changed a lot since I was a kid, back in the sixties. People were more polite back then. It is cliche, but the world is going to hell. Sad but true.
    Funny, people your age were saying the same thing in the 60s, too. And every point in history before that.
  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    BradVert2013
    Sadly, eBay has created such an atmosphere of distrust between sellers and buyers, that this sort of thing happens all the time. As a seller, I can understand what your seller was trying to do (though I don't condone it & think it's kinda shady). We live and die by feedback. One negative review can ruin a seller on eBay. They have been kicking sellers off left and right for a while now. I've seen many good sellers, who have been on there since the 90s, get the boot for very arbitrary reasons.

    Sorry to play devil's advocate here, but eBay is a very, very different marketplace than anywhere else. It's nothing like Amazon or other large ecommerce sites.
  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    BradVert2013
    Originally Posted by timpears View Post

    Things have changed a lot since I was a kid, back in the sixties. People were more polite back then. It is cliche, but the world is going to hell. Sad but true.
    The parents of kids growing up in the 60s said the same about them. Every generation thinks the next generation is messing the world up. It's getting to be a tired argument.
  • Profile picture of the author Newbie123
    Newbie123
    I love your attitude rrm and loved your post!

    Money is important, but it isn't everything, a little gratitude goes a long way.
  • Profile picture of the author rrm
    rrm
    Originally Posted by BradVert2013 View Post

    Sorry to play devil's advocate here, but eBay is a very, very different marketplace than anywhere else. It's nothing like Amazon or other large ecommerce sites.
    It's fine to play devil's advocate. I get that about eBay, and the fact that the way things are set up, crappy buyers can make things miserable for the seller. My sister does pretty well full-time on eBay, and she gets her share of buyers like that.

    But Frank Donovan is right. This should not stop sellers from somehow expressing some appreciation.

    The whole point, though, was not to indict eBay sellers, even the ones I was referring to earlier. It's just the whole ingratitude thing, which just seems so prevalent nowadays, especially manifested by some folks who want you to keep moving your free line. They are not even grateful about what you've done so far and they expect you to keep the spigot on.

    Or, they appreciate the help you give, but only so long as you keep up the giving. There are some people who literally seem to become unhinged when you start charging for a product or service, after you've given them a steady diet of free, or when you want to pull the plug after you realize that you are being drafted as a free mentor.

    And if you start explaining why you need to charge for something, all of a sudden, we become "like those other marketers" because we don't want to keep throwing out the entitlements like Santa does candy at a Christmas parade.

    As an aside, yes, I realize that people from every generation thinks the world is headed for the crapper. Human nature is what it is and it has not changed over the centuries. But the way the world is so technologically interconnected today, and the shear number of chances to meet up with people who are like I have described, yes, expectations and attitudes are crappier than when I was growing up. And nobody said that only younger people are behaving that way. I see it in lots of older people as well.

    Then again, that point had nothing to do with my original issue.

    Ron
  • Profile picture of the author profitsforall
    profitsforall
    Manners, or lack of them is something that drives me crazy.

    As my mum always used to say "manners cost nothing".

    3 simple words are all it takes. Please. Thank you.

    As to the world going to the crapper - Nostalgia sure isn't what it used to be
  • Profile picture of the author Sharpster
    Sharpster
    Famous words - Give an inch... they'll take a mile!

    I feel you, not with the ebay thing but in general...

    In the past I've been a sucker for helping people out of my own good nature and left picking the dirt out of my teeth as a result.

    I used to think it a "karma" thing, you give... and when it goes full circle, you'll receive.

    In reality... I gave and gave and gave... result - little to no thanks and zero karma!

    I once had an Aussi newbie on skype sobbing her socks off how she was so desperate to make money and losing her home etc...

    ...she had no idea what to do, so for 6 weeks I held her hand, built her a site, put together her product and even launched her to my own list with no affiliate link.

    Days later POOOF she was gone!

    No thank you, no nothing, however, she found the titanium coconuts to come back several weeks later asking for a testimonial from me as she had a BIG name very interested in promoting her!

    Go figure...

    Same thing happened 2 years later, I took a complete naysayer and built him a 6 figure business from scratch to PROVE it could be done. His first paycheck was over $7k...

    ...then when paypal froze his account, he grew bored and lazy and let it die!

    Go figure!

    Another guy (newbie) I took under my wing I again created him a site, did all the donkey work, walked him through step by step how to create killer videos, took those videos and edited them etc myself so as to make him look amazing and built his product using my own unique spin that returned $21 EPC's.

    ...$21 EPCS!

    But get this, his first customer was a HUGE named Guru who was so blown away with his product and content, he employed him on the spot to be on his team, then just like before... POOOF I was dropped in a heartbeat, his product was left collecting dust even though it was a 6 figure in it's sleep earner and I was left picking dirt out my teeth again!

    Go figure!

    Don't get me wrong - I LOVE helping others, but boy oh boy did I learn my lesson the HARD way!

    What damages me the most is that the time I have sacrificed to help others for free... is time I will never get back, and this goes for all you too.

    Bottom Line: OUR time is valuable... it's the most precious thing we own - use it wisely, I know I do now!

    TS.
  • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
    Richard Van
    Originally Posted by BradVert2013 View Post

    The parents of kids growing up in the 60s said the same about them. Every generation thinks the next generation is messing the world up. It's getting to be a tired argument.
    Really?

    In the sixties, if I went up to an old man and told him to f*** off. He'd give me a slap, he'd take me to a policeman who would also give me a slap. The policeman would then take me home to my Mother, who would beat the living daylights out of me.

    And I'd never have dared tell anyone older than me to F off.

    Today, if I went up to an old man and told him to f*** off. He wouldn't say a word, he'd be too scared in case I attacked him. He wouldn't dare hit me as it's against the law and he'd be arrested for beating a child. The policeman wouldn't do anything because it's not a crime to tell old men to F off and if he did take me back to my Mother, she'd tell the policeman to F off and mind his own business.

    Yes, I'm sure you're right, such a tired old argument. :rolleyes:
  • Profile picture of the author rrm
    rrm
    Originally Posted by Sharpster View Post

    I used to think it a "karma" thing, you give... and when it goes full circle, you'll receive.

    In reality... I gave and gave and gave... result - little to no thanks and zero karma!

    TS.
    In individual cases, there is no "karma," as most of us have experienced. You can give until it hurts, and the line builds for "more, please!" But without the "please" part.

    On the other hand, I have to give credit to the customers who not only show some grace, but go way beyond what we ask for in the first place. I once had an offline customer who gave me a ton of work. I wanted to give him a per-person discount. He did not want it. He knew my reputation and my work and he was adamant that I charge him full price. It came from his company's pocket. There was no third party reimbursement. I made thousands extra because he would not take the discount.

    There are other customers who send ME a Christmas card every Christmas. So, while I don't want to forget the people who make our businesses a force for good in this world, I detest the losers with the "titanium coconuts." They take away the time and effort I could better spend on those other customers.

    Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post

    Really?

    In the sixties, if I went up to an old man and told him to f*** off. He'd give me a slap, he'd take me to a policeman who would also give me a slap. The policeman would then take me home to my Mother, who would beat the living daylights out of me.

    And I'd never have dared tell anyone older than me to F off.

    Today, if I went up to an old man and told him to f*** off. He wouldn't say a word, he'd be too scared in case I attacked him. He wouldn't dare hit me as it's against the law and he'd be arrested for beating a child. The policeman wouldn't do anything because it's not a crime to tell old men to F off and if he did take me back to my Mother, she'd tell the policeman to F off and mind his own business.

    Yes, I'm sure you're right, such a tired old argument. :rolleyes:
    Ain't that the truth. I passed by a stranger one day not long ago. The old man stopped and asked me a question and I said, "Yes sir." He nearly fainted. Believe it or not, he actually thanked me for saying "sir" to him.

    It is a different world.

    Ron
  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Evans
    Daniel Evans
    Originally Posted by rrm View Post

    Ok, gripe time. Maybe it will help some folks.

    No real gratitude. And seriously, you want me to carve out even more of my time just for you?

    I'll get back to that in a minute. Or two.

    The lack of social graces these days is appalling. A seller from ebay, whom I bought something from, emailed me and told me to leave him positive feedback. I told him that I liked the product and I would be glad to give him good feedback, but I wanted him to give me feedback first. I was the customer, after all. He said, "No, I don't leave feedback first. You have to." I said, "Whatever happened to the days when the seller thanked the customer for doing business with them?" He never replied. He never left me feedback. Neither did I. This has happened not once, not twice, but multiple times with different sellers.

    Or, even more common, you buy a product and they ship it to your house. Maybe you get a packing slip. More often than not, for me anyway, there is absolutely no indication that they appreciate the fact that you gave them some business. I guess they figure we shouldn't gripe too much if the product made it to my house in one piece, despite being drop-kicked by the UPS or Fed Ex guys, and if it worked as advertised. Well, give you a brownie point!

    Too many sellers and marketers nowadays think they are doing us a favor and we are privileged to buy their product.

    There are those of you who don't care about such things one way or the other. You just accept that people are like that sometimes and you move on. Good for you. I'm moving on also. After I get through.

    Far too many marketers simply want to make money. They spend a lifetime and a boat load of money learning everything they can about copywriting and psychology and networking and technology just to learn how to most efficiently squeeze every dime out of their list, or their "target market" or their customers, or whatever they want to call them. I tell you what... express a little heart-felt gratitude and you will gain, and keep, more customers. It does not take split testing or a working knowledge of the 5 greatest copywriting books of all time to know that.

    Now that I've rabbit-trailed a little, here's my soup du jour issue: A warrior got in touch with me and wanted some free consult time. She has made quite a lot of posts, the vast majority of which are questions that she asks. Many warriors have stepped up to help her. She never actually helps anybody else. That's ok, though. I am not complaining about that, per se. I've often asked for help myself.

    But then she wanted to schedule some telephone time so I could give her some additional consulting advice. One-on-one. She spent the entire paragraph talking about herself, what she does, where she wants to go, the kind of business she wants to run. Maybe I am selfish, but I don't care! I don't care what you used to do for a living. I don't care what you want to do in the future. I don't care that you cannot make up your mind about which direction to go, or why you don't follow the advice that a hundred other warriors have already given you.

    Eternity is not my free line limit.

    I am not a lonely man. I am not waiting by the phone just for someone like you to give my life meaning. I have a life. And a wife. And grandchildren. And a business. Don't try to push my free line like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. I have helped you plenty already and without any show of appreciation. Time is money. $500 per hour (you pay up front) and THEN we'll talk. I will then feel appreciated. I will then feel like my advice actually means anything. We'll talk as long as you want.

    I write this for the benefit of those who might be inclined to try to take advantage of those of us who are willing to help others: Don't take it for granted. At some point we close the doors. Start by showing some appreciation for what you already get, especially considering that we owe you nothing anyway.

    So, boys and girls, if you want somebody to help you, here or anywhere else, do ask, but then be grateful. If you are a warrior and you like their comment or advice, hit the thanks button. I promise it won't take much out of you. Way less than one calorie and minimal effort. A neuron or two is all it takes. And it does mean something to most people. And then, don't try to track them down to squeeze even more help out of them without offering something to them in return. Don't be a parasite.

    Ron
    The comment in bold sits ironically.

    Originally Posted by rrm View Post

    Ok, gripe time.
    Give an inch and some people will take a mile, but if you give a mile in your complaint you might as well just give it to them...
  • Profile picture of the author rrm
    rrm
    Originally Posted by Daniel Evans View Post

    The comment in bold sits ironically.



    Give an inch and some people will take a mile, but if you give a mile in your complaint you might as well just give it to them...
    I did. And there is that ever slight chance that somebody who tends to be a moocher might think twice. Whether or not that really happens, who knows? I do what I can. Yeah, it was wordy, but considering my lack of brevity in most conversations, this was a short one!

    I see your "ironical" point. Sometimes we trade our time and money for opportunities to help. It's payment of a different sort. Sometimes it just does not end well.

    Ron
  • Profile picture of the author BradVert2013
    BradVert2013
    Originally Posted by Richard Van View Post

    Really?

    In the sixties, if I went up to an old man and told him to f*** off. He'd give me a slap, he'd take me to a policeman who would also give me a slap. The policeman would then take me home to my Mother, who would beat the living daylights out of me.

    And I'd never have dared tell anyone older than me to F off.

    Today, if I went up to an old man and told him to f*** off. He wouldn't say a word, he'd be too scared in case I attacked him. He wouldn't dare hit me as it's against the law and he'd be arrested for beating a child. The policeman wouldn't do anything because it's not a crime to tell old men to F off and if he did take me back to my Mother, she'd tell the policeman to F off and mind his own business.

    Yes, I'm sure you're right, such a tired old argument. :rolleyes:
    Talk about taking an argument to ridiculous proportions.

    I'm in my 30s, and I have NEVER met anyone my age or younger who would just tell someone to F off. Are there people who'd do it? Probably. Is it just younger ones who'd do something like this? I'm guessing not, to say otherwise is a gross overgeneralization. I've met some downright rude, immature adults in their 50's & 60s who act like children. I've met teens who have the maturity of someone 3 times their age.

    Here's an interesting article from Forbes that talks about older generations always criticizing younger ones:

    Why Do We Always Sell the Next Generation Short? - Forbes
  • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
    Richard Van
    Originally Posted by BradVert2013 View Post

    Talk about taking an argument to realistic proportions.
    Fixed that bit for you.

    I'm in my 30s, and I have NEVER met anyone my age or younger who would just tell someone to F off.
    Chicago is much nicer than London then. I've seen it many times and had it done to me as well. That's not the worst that happens either.

    I think I'll move across the pond. Do you get nice summers in Chicago?
  • Profile picture of the author Eagleze
    Eagleze
    Originally Posted by BradVert2013 View Post

    Talk about taking an argument to ridiculous proportions.

    I'm in my 30s, and I have NEVER met anyone my age or younger who would just tell someone to F off. Are there people who'd do it? Probably. Is it just younger ones who'd do something like this? I'm guessing not, to say otherwise is a gross overgeneralization. I've met some downright rude, immature adults in their 50's & 60s who act like children. I've met teens who have the maturity of someone 3 times their age.

    Here's an interesting article from Forbes that talks about older generations always criticizing younger ones:

    Why Do We Always Sell the Next Generation Short? - Forbes
    I find it interesting when people apply a certain behavior to a group of people. Does the original poster know every 30 year old on earth to make that determination? In college athletics I always laugh when I hear a fan of one team say the fans of that school are all unruly a-holes? Really, do you know them all?

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