Friday

Membership Organizations Can be Useful But Be Aware

By Karen Cioffi

This week’s marketing tip is more of a warning. If you're on the internet, especially if you do article marketing to generate visibility, you will become . .  visible. While this is a good thing, it may also bring you to the attention of some who are looking to make money off of you.

I’ve come across two professional groups, specifically for women, that play on your ego to get you to buy a membership into their organization.

The most recent is the International Women’s Leadership Association. They sent me an email stating that I was honored among women in education. This is part of the email:

“On behalf of The International Women’s Leadership Association (TheIWLA), it is my distinct pleasure to notify you that, in consideration of your contribution to family, career, and community, you have been selected as a woman of outstanding leadership in Education.”

At the end it noted to register, and since I wasn't sure what it was about I registered. There was absolutely no mention of a fee.

A couple of days later, I got a call from my ‘personal liaison’ to the group. She fluffed my ego, but having experience with another group with this marketing technique, I very nicely explained that I was hit by Hurricane Sandy and am still rebuilding.

This didn’t faze her – she continued her promo. I again nicely interrupted her and explained that if there was a membership fee involved I wasn’t at all interested.

She continued, saying that’s okay, at the end of her information I could choose what I wanted to do. And, again she continued.

So, again I interrupted and explained that I was still rebuilding from Sandy and wasn’t in a position to spend money. Again she went on.

Finally, still being polite, I said the conversation was a waste of both our time and that there was no point to it.

She finally got that I wasn’t buying and asked if she could contact me at a future date.

It was a 'hard sell' call and she just didn’t want to take no for an answer.

Anyway, the point is to be aware of who’s contacting you and for what purpose. While it’s ego boosting to have an organization tell you you’re great and worthy of being a member, take a step back and question their motive, especially if they contact you cold..

While some organizations, if you can afford it, are worthwhile for the connections and networking, some aren’t.

And, if you get a ‘hard sell’ call, ask yourself why they’re so pushy.

Stay safe!

~~~~~
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16 comments:

widdershins said...

If I feel someone is trying to 'sell' me something, I ask 'em right then if they are or not. If they hedge their bets, I just say, 'not interested, and hang up. Life's too short to deal with outdated marketing techniques like that.

Karen Cioffi said...

Widder, you're absolutely right. And, it was a bit surprising that this woman was so 'hard core' about it. It really does turn people off.

I should have just hung up - maybe next time. ;)

Beryl Reichenberg said...

When I get these kinds of calls, I say "I'm sorry. I don't take these kinds of calls." and hang up. Sometimes I add, "Please take me off your list." Being polite but firm, I find works. Beryl Reichenberg

Karen Cioffi said...

Beryl, that's exactly what I should have done and should do. It's just a waste of time engaging in conversation.

Thanks for stopping by!

Mkssalsa said...

Thanks for posting this! I've been getting emails for a while from that organization inviting me to register, telling me they want to honor met, etc. - and wondering if they were remotely legit since I couldn't find much on them. Your post came up while I was trying to figure out via Google who they were. Glad to know my gut feeling seems to be right and I should just mark 'em as spam!

Karen Cioffi-Ventrice said...

Mk, I'm so glad this post helped you. It pays to listen to your gut!

Concerned Person said...

Your So right I agreed and change my mind and they were so pushy after getting my information still tried to get into my Account for payment after I had cancelled. Thanks for this. I didnt like the attitude and energy and no compassion and way of trying to take after I stated no!

Karen Cioffi-Ventrice said...

Concerned, I hear you. Glad you were able to relate to this. Sorry though that you had the problem!

Cary Hale said...

I get emails from this organization constantly telling me that I am an outstanding representative of women's leadership. I do not believe that they are a valuable organization for any woman to belong to if they are unable to figure out that though I am a active supporter of women I am not actually a woman.

Karen Cioffi-Ventrice said...

Cary, that's one of the best yet! LOL.
Companies like these make money by 'stroking' the person's ego. And, some of them have 'hard core' sales techniques. It's terrible. And, yes, they should make sure they're contacting an actual woman. Very funny.

Richard DH said...

They are clearly not very discriminatory - I've received several emails from them but I'm also a bloke and I doubt my long-suffering wife would agree with their assessment of my great contributions !!

Karen Cioffi-Ventrice said...

Richard, no they're not! LOL It's all about 'consumer be aware!'

"Flower" said...

This is the second organization that has approached me. The first pushed me to pay just under $200 to join for a year and then sent me information, both to attend an exclusive and very expensive conference in NYC and emails with political agendas. I flatly refused Year 2 to pay again, but I am still getting emails from the organization as a full member. I'm not saying either organization has no value, but, like Karen said, "buyer beware."

Karen Cioffi-Ventrice said...

Hi, Flower, it's a pretty common 'scam.' I call it that because most of these membership don't offer any real value. At least you didn't opt for paying another year.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis said...

I'm a man and I keep getting emails from them. It upsets me that scams like this are still going on.

Karen Cioffi-Ventrice said...

Opera Theater, go figure. These types of 'hard sells' give marketing such a bad reputation. Thanks for stopping by!