Lazy Marketing. Lousy Results. (A Sad, But Humorous Cautionary Tale)

appointment setter

Here’s a cautionary tale for you to tuck in your “how-not-to-network” file.

The saga began last week, when Barry sent me a LinkedIn message asking to meet.

Barry used to run an agency in St. Louis that competed with the email marketing firm I founded and ran, MarketVolt.

We crossed paths occasionally back then so when he wrote…

(“Hi Tom… Hope all is well on your end. I wanted to see if we could set up a time for us to meet. I wanted to say HI! And who knows maybe how we might be able to help each other, send business each other’s way or something…”)

…I thought, “Sure, why not?”

I sent my calendar link, and he booked a 30-minute Zoom. 

Fast forward to yesterday’s meeting. 


“Hi Tom, where are you located?” 

I paused, not sure if he was kidding. 

“Ummmmm… St. Louis.” 

“Oh yeah. St. Louis. I knew your name sounded familiar.” 

“Yeah. St. Louis. MarketVolt.” 

“Ohhhhhh. Right. MarketVolt. How’s that going?” 

“Ummmm…I sold it…Three years ago.” 

“Oh! Great. What do you do now?”  

I paused again. 

“Did he just ask you “What do you do now!?!?’”

I began to laugh. I paused again and regained my composure.

“Ummmm… I’m founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing.” 

I shared the short-as-possible version of my story. 

And then Barry shared his. 

Turns out he runs an appointment-setting business. 

His “team of assistants” sends direct messages  – from his LinkedIn account – to lead lists, asking for appointments. 

“Appointments just like this one.”

(Oh! This was getting good!)

“So you booked this appointment with me using the same process you and your assistants apply for your clients?”

Barry (proud as a p-cock):

He seemed to think I was impressed. 

He hoped I’d hire him to book meetings…

…just like this one. 

I laughed again. 

He looked puzzled. 

“Sorry. Lost my train of thought.” 

“No problem.”

He droned on for a few more minutes about his services. 

I thought about cutting him off. But this was too amusing.

He ended his pitch. 

I told him I wasn’t interested. 

(Bye bye, Barry.)

I imagine there’s a club for marketers like Barry…

…The Appointment-Setters Club.

Maybe Barry is the founding director. 

And I imagine…

…the first rule of Appointment-Setters Club is:

 Don’t talk about Appointment-Setters Club 

Just wing it.

Show up without knowing a thing about the person you’re meeting with. 

Don’t waste a single second reading that person’s LinkedIn profile. 

Why bother?

You can ask “What do you do?” when the meeting begins.

Be lazy with appointment prep. 

After all, you were lazy with appointment-setting, and you still got some appointments. 

Most of the time, the meetings will be lousy…

…just like this one. 

But maybe if you book enough lousy meetings and waste enough prospects’ time, you may stumble into a meeting with someone  who wants to hire a lazy marketer like you.

(Or maybe not)

That’s how things work at Barry’s Appointment-Setters Club.

Don’t join that club! 

(And don’t hire it’s members)

Don't go away yet..

p.s. Coaches, authors, and consultants hire me to power-up their creative content and storytelling to captivate prospects, stand-out and book more business.

Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:

1) Get the Story Power Profit Pack -- 52 Strategies, Tips, and Tactics  to Transform Your Content from Ignored to Adored.

2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”

3) Become a Story Power VIP: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Twice-monthly live masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.

4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.

5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.