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What's in it for them guys, WIIFT, never forget it!

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on May 26, 2021, 7:56 pm

Do you think that an email will be risky?
In this sense, the receiver may be Machiavellian and intentionally quote & misconstrue the message.
Maybe calling would be safer.

Gosh, I frankly hadn't thought of that.

Turns out, maybe I'm not Machiavellian enough :).

I'd personally hope that someone who runs a charity wouldn't be out to screw over the people who donated for them.

But now that you mention it, there is a risk: that they see the post as a potential damage to their brand.
Or that someone in the organization takes it personally, rather than as an opportunity for growth.

In that sense, the risk is very high.
Just look at this forum history, it has shedded a lot of members with that type of hard-hitting feedback :).
But it's the same risk with all hard-hitting feedback.

And unless you're really dealing with legal-trigger-happy folks, I'd guess the personal risks are relatively low. If they get angry, well... Then you know who you're dealing with, and it's not a huge loss on you.
On the other hand, you're potentially providing lots of value. If the organization had some enlightened folks there, they might even offer to hire you as a consultant.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on May 26, 2021, 8:07 pm
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on May 26, 2021, 7:56 pm

Do you think that an email will be risky?
In this sense, the receiver may be Machiavellian and intentionally quote & misconstrue the message.
Maybe calling would be safer.

Gosh, I frankly hadn't thought of that.

Turns out, maybe I'm not Machiavellian enough :).

I'd personally hope that someone who runs a charity wouldn't be out to screw over the people who donated for them.

I'm probably more cynical about the written word after my personal experience of a smear campaign. (Maybe I'm saying this too much)
Maybe overly cynical :).

Most of the times there is little risk as you said.
I don't think a hospital is legal-trigger-happy during this covid period.
Or whether it's painting a donor who gives negative feedback as "aggressive".
They probably want as many donations as possible.
What image would it portray of a hospital spending time to go against a donor?

A possible approach would be to drop an email and request to set up a call.
The email would highlight Ali's longstanding contributions to the hospital and his collaborative intentions.
Then use the call to talk about the more sensitive feedback.
But maybe that takes up too much time.
I also may not be understanding the full picture.

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on May 26, 2021, 8:34 p

Most of the times there is little risk as you said.
I don't think a hospital is legal-trigger-happy during this covid period.
Or whether it's painting a donor who gives negative feedback as "aggressive".
They probably want as many donations as possible.
What image would it portray of a hospital spending time to go against a donor?

OFF TOPIC

I think that in many ways, this is an ethical question.

The question to me is:

Are you willing to take a personal risk, to deliver what's potentially valuable?

Of course, this is not to say that you should necessarily take that risk.
Or even that it's a good thing -in many situations, it's probably a waste of your time with little added value to the receiver-.

But that's the question.

As an example where the answer was "yes" for me, was in this thread.

Giving feedback had a time cost, a potential relationship cost, and maybe even a business cost.
The risks was that a guy who loved the website and called me "mentor" was going to take my feedback personally, with the result of turning a former fan into a potential hater, with a loss of a future customer, and a potential future referrer of more readers/customers.

In that instance, I decided it was worth the risk.

Many other times, the answer may be "no".

My rule of thumb though is "if I care about this person/institution, and if there are reasonable chances they'll gain from it, I'm inclined to go for it". Still doesn't mean I necessarily will, as I might just too be busy at that time.

On the other hand, I think one should also not let fear govern them.
The way I see it, if you want to achieve almost anything at scale while speaking your mind, some escalations and mud slinging along the way are part of the journey.

OFF TOPIC

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

What's in it for me isn't even just about social effectiveness and getting what you want.

It's also about selfishness VS consideration for others.

This is an example of an email that might have been useful -might-.

But it so lacks any WIIFM that it becomes value-taking spam and time-waste.

The lack of WIIFM makes the sender a true selfish individual:

Everything here is about them.

And (ineffectively) "somewhat" demanding my support because... Because your app has been founded by (insert useless name-dropping) ?

Ali Scarlett has reacted to this post.
Ali Scarlett
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Recently, I received this LinkedIn request:

It was very refreshing to read amongst all of the spammy marketing-type requests. Like yours, Lucio, here's another message I received that, in my opinion, might have been useful:

You might have even noticed the name-dropping that did nothing to persuade me (no offense to those guys or "experts", but I've never heard of them).

One that I actually thought was OK, but could have been great with a few tweaks:

 

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Lucio Buffalmano

I saw the sender's email address.
Maybe this is an affiliate marketer not linked to Uptime.

I see what you mean by selfish.
Because he phrases everything from his viewpoint, it implies that he did not spend time to think how the app Uptime could help you.

He could have phrased:

  • Instead of Why Uptime Matters
    "How Does Uptime Save You Time?"
  • Instead of putting the onus on the user to figure out what to do through a generic "Learn More", he could have said
    "If you are interested, you can click here to try out the app.
    It only takes 1 minute to sign-up."

And (ineffectively) "somewhat" demanding my support because... Because your app has been founded by (insert useless name-dropping) ?

Name dropping seems to be the approach of some tech startups.
Some others use exclusivity through an invite-only sign-up like Superhuman.
Superhuman is an email client that costs USD 30/month.

I suppose this is a form of credit inflating.
There is no true WIIFM as you have mentioned above.
And it's really annoying when they expect you to be the one jumping through their hoops to sign up for their service.

I think Lucio mentioned before that overly highlighting your credentials is a form of manipulation.
Like people putting PhD in front. In this case, it's ex-Google and CEO of Tesla.
I think credentials are fine in the sense of showcasing your background.
But hinging on that as your go-to selling point is manipulative.


My Personal Example

This is more of a case of social exchange manipulation instead of a lack of WIIFT.

I was recommended this website by someone.
So I thought it was credible.
He probably thought that it looked quite credible.

The WIIFM is getting a free website.
The manipulative part is that it's actually not completely free and he wants to appear higher in demand through his application.
I think we mentioned this tactic before that applications are sales screening tactics.

After filling up the application, the owner will ask you to sign up with a certain website hosting provider so he can collect his affiliate fee.

Then the email exchange after he made his offer:

Him: Just following up on this. Were you still interested in the free website?

If you could let me know, that would be great so we can figure out whether to pass along the offer to someone else on our waiting list. We have a solid list of applicants waiting to hear back from us so if you could let me know today that would be much appreciated. 🙂
Thanks very much!

Me: You may pass the offer along to your solid list of applicants :).

Him: No worries! Thanks for letting me know.

If you know anyone (friends/colleagues, etc) who might be looking to get a professional website built but not want to pay the big fees of hiring a development agency, please pass along our application link: *link*

If they mention your name when they fill out our application form, we're happy to offer them 3 additional hours of development time (a value of $150) if their application is selected. Or if you want to set up a paid referral relationship with us, let me know and I’d be happy to talk through what we can offer you.

Thanks again for so politely engaging with me. 🙂

He essentially told me that his long waiting list is not so long after all.

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Lucio BuffalmanoAli Scarlett
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on June 25, 2021, 7:04 am

Him: Just following up on this. Were you still interested in the free website?

If you could let me know, that would be great so we can figure out whether to pass along the offer to someone else on our waiting list. We have a solid list of applicants waiting to hear back from us so if you could let me know today that would be much appreciated. ?
Thanks very much!

Me: You may pass the offer along to your solid list of applicants :).

Him: No worries! Thanks for letting me know.

If you know anyone (friends/colleagues, etc) who might be looking to get a professional website built but not want to pay the big fees of hiring a development agency, please pass along our application link: *link*

If they mention your name when they fill out our application form, we're happy to offer them 3 additional hours of development time (a value of $150) if their application is selected. Or if you want to set up a paid referral relationship with us, let me know and I’d be happy to talk through what we can offer you.

Thanks again for so politely engaging with me. ?

Brutal 😀

But well called for, that was a good one 🙂

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Ali ScarlettMatthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Someone reached out to me recently asking for support for their book launch.

It was interesting to read and analyze their approach because not that long ago, my own approach had lots of room for improvement.

Opening my email the other morning, this is what I read:

Reading that subject line, it seemed like she had already supported my book launch first. And, now she's asking for value back.

And, I'm always up for some fair-value social marketing :).

So, let's see how she goes about it:

Here's what I think she did well:

#1. She Cared About The Subject Line

No huge issues with the subject line, I actually liked how it followed Daniel Pink's rule of making your subject line consist of either curiosity or value.

And, this subject line made me very curious.

#2. She Cared About Rapport

I also like that she doesn't go straight into her ask. She expresses that she hopes things are going well with the success of my own book. Then, she transitions into reminding me who she is by mentioning how she's a value-adding individual to my life and mission—killing two birds with one stone.

In my opinion, pretty damn smooth.

#3. She Creates "Trust-Based Influence" Using Empathy

Then, she mentions something only people who were on my launch team or who read this forum would know. My book launch got delayed. And, after over half a year of hard work and over $4,000 invested into this purpose-driven project, that hurt.

So, for her to mention that the same happened to her, it really tapped into my sense of empathy. It made me really want to help her.

In my opinion, a really great move on her part.

#4. She's Strategic With How She Approaches Our Relationship In Her Ask

That might seem like an odd headline, but think about the debt swapping WIIFT fail we saw earlier in this thread. Asking as a friend could have kept a better relationship.

Now, Laura and I aren't very close (hence why she had to remind me of who she is). So, it was a great approach for her to group me in as being another member of a community that we're both a part of.

If she would have tried to frame us as something closer such as "friends" or "connections", that would do more than seem inauthentic (since that's not the case), it would also imply that she has more social capital with me than she actually does. And, I wouldn't have appreciated that.

#5. How She Frames Our Relationship Leverages the Ingroup/Outgroup Technique

This is more of a side note and feels subjective.

But, by grouping me in as a member of the same community who let us both down and delayed both our launches, she made me feel like striving to be the one who "stands out" with her as someone who's reliable and willing to give (the same way she already did for me).

Almost like the ingroup/outgroup technique of "we're both in the same 'unreliable' community, but—unlike them—we know the importance of having each other's back".

And, that was also because of the order in which she framed her ask:

  1. Empathy: tells me her launch was delayed because the community we're a part of didn't help (= ingroup: we understand what it's like to lose support)
  2. Common Ground: mentions she's counting on our community to help her with this launch (= ingroup: we understand what it's like to lose support from people you need)
  3. Fields Request: "in good faith" asks for me to help her—to stand out amongst those who did not (ingroup/outgroup: we can work together because we have an understanding that "those other members" in the community don't)

I wasn't too thrilled about how she started to field her request with "in good faith". I interpreted that as "good faith negotiation" which would communicate, "I gave you value and if you're fair [if you believe in good faith practices], you'll give back."

That would imply that by declining, I'm being unfair. And, I don't like that frame. It takes away some of my power and freedom.

But, that wasn't a huge deal for me because she said she "hopes" she'll hear back from me. Not, "looking forward to hearing back from you" which assumes I would agree or "would greatly appreciate your response".

(Possible) Tweak(s) to Make Her Ask Better

Still, the "in good faith" felt like it really highlighted the transactional nature of this exchange. And, since she's already delivered all of her value (there's no future incentive for me to help), a better alternative might have been:

Laura: "If you want to help, I'd be very grateful. I have attached..."

Then, if I decline, she can reframe for collaboration (something I should've done in my own approach when I was in her shoes) by saying, "What can we do to make this work?"

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Lucio BuffalmanoMatthew Whitewood

Good analysis, Ali.

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Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Customer Support Representative Tries to Set Up Judge Credit Awarding

I was with GoDaddy until recently when a mentor of mine recommended a high-quality, more cost-effective option for my website domains.

So, after doing my due diligence, I made the transfer.

Unluckily, after the transfer went through, one of my domains started to give me an error message.

So, I went on Live Chat where a customer support rep was very helpful in getting things back online without any issues.

Then, the representative asked for me to leave her a positive review. Here's how she went about it:

I would've given her a great review if it weren't for all of the games in her approach.

And, worse, I think there might have been quite a few low-quality people who have fallen for this approach already.

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