Never Compromise Your Integrity to Get the Sale
A friend of mine, Doug Grady, President of the High Achiever’s Network, recently shared a post on his website about an experience he had at an event where a gentleman was sharing his business development strategies. Doug is a seasoned sales professional with more than 25 years “in the game.” He’s taught sales to companies all over the United States and has endorsements from names like Zig Zigler and Brian Tracy.
Fake Profiling: Not An Acceptable Networking Strategy, by Doug Grady
February 28, 2012 by Doug
I was in a seminar today on networking strategies. It was produced by a very reputable organization. The invited speaker, an author and self-proclaimed expert in the area of networking, was sharing his strategies. He was funny and witty and quick on his feet. He used the word “stalking” as a strategy a few too many times for my comfort zone and proclaimed the value of picking where you go to church specifically to “stalk” your potential clients.
These things didn’t really bother me too much and I actually found him entertaining and interesting on some level. And then it happened. He began sharing his strategy of setting up fake profiles on linkedin to connect with the prospects he was “stalking”. He went into detail on how he finds out where his target went to school and some of their common interests. If it was a man, he’d create a profile of a woman who was a “6 or 7” in the looks category, and set up her fake profile with the same alma mater and similar interests. If it was a woman he was targeting, the man would be more like a “9”. He boasted a 95% success rate when linking up through this fake profile system. Then he could easily get connected with his target through his fabricated connection.
How would you react? Here is your multiple choice test:
a. “Wow, what a great idea, I wish I had thought of that.
b. “This man is genius.”
c. “I can’t wait to create my first fake profile!”
d. “I’ve been doing this for years- I should be up there teaching him.”
e. “This man is a liar and is teaching other people to lie as a strategy.”
If you answered a-d, you might want to consider going back to Sunday School.
I went with “e” and before I knew it found myself calling him out. “You are lying,” I said from the back of the room. I was a little heated and I don’t remember his exact response but it was something to the effect that his prospect doesn’t know that it’s a fake profile so it’s OK. I said, “Well I know it, you just told me.” I turned to the person next to me and quietly said, “I’m not listening to this crap” and walked out.
There is no place for this blatant manipulation and outright deception in business or anywhere else. This man lowered himself to the status of a conman and bragged about it. To make it worse, he was teaching others to do the same under the guise of a “strategy.”
A shortcut that compromises your integrity is never one you need to take.
Like Doug, choice ‘e’ resonates with me. This is a despicable, predatory practice that harms the entire market, making prospects more skeptical and puts professionals as a whole at greater scrutiny. Bottom line is that it costs us as business leaders more money to do business because of a few that feel that it is their right to use unethical practices. When greed enters the open market, everyone suffers.
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