Don’t take their word for it. As Seth Godin’s book title says, All Marketers Are Liars. When we have dreams, we all want the simple, quick fixes to get what we want. We have to be careful when we search out a guru or a course to take. I suggest asking around and doing some recon.
A few strokes of the keyboard can tell you a lot. Sometimes I check testimonials to verify that they are real. It’s simpler than it used to be to find people, especially through Facebook. If you do shoot someone a quick question, read between the lines. Don’t seek the answer you want to hear. Some people do not want to be negative or slander someone, so listen carefully. The tone of the person should tell you a lot.
I also ask people for references if I’m going to invest a fair amount of money or time with them. Recently, I was considering a social media specialist and came across a very eager young woman who wanted me to consider her. I gave her some hoops to jump through, and she did. I let her know when she could check back, and she did. She was pleasantly persistent. I like that.
I then asked her if I could talk to a couple of her clients. She told me she’d get back to me. I thought that was the end of it. Okay, she was found out! Moving on. Nope, she sent me an email the next day with three clients willing to talk to me. Look, everyone has some bizarre clients. If you are good and have enough clients, you should have rapport with a few who would be references. If not, red flag!
Also look at the logos on their site, the ones they say they worked for. One potential coach I was considering has a big label: As Seen on ____ Show. I looked at the website and did not see any clips from those TV programs. Now, it’s possible they are being truthful but just don’t have clips on their site, so I asked. Hmm, the assistant did not know much about them. Well, if I had been on those shows, I’d make sure that the clips were on my site. I’ll see what they say on my next follow-up. Remember, if they will exaggerate about one thing or be untruthful about another, chances are it ain’t going to get better once you start paying them.
One potential coach I looked into had only text quotes. In this day and age, I’d expect video testimonials, especially knowing how tech savvy this person is. When I asked if they would allow me to talk to some of their clients, they told me it was not their policy to do that. Policy? I’m reasonably sure if it had been a policy, the assistant would have known beforehand. I think they just made that up. Not cool. We have to look at the whole picture, but I know myself, and I get emotional when making a buying decision. Sometimes I jump too soon. Just remember, a little bit of recon and research can save you time and money. I want to be so good and help so many people that if people ask me for references, I have plenty of raving fans I’ve helped. Remember to get testimonials every time you speak to build a plethora of proof!
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