48Days.net member Mike Sparks says he was reading his emails this morning and was told his business (MidTnAutos) had recently won an award for 2009 Best of Smyrna Award in the Auto Dealers category by the US Commerce Association. Of course Mike is a savvy enough businessperson to do a little checking to discover that US Commerce Association “awards” any company anywhere that then agrees to pay $189 for a plaque claiming your status.
Here’s another one I received just this morning. It had my name in the url link – but for the sake of clarification I’ve substituted my 2-yr-old granddaughter’s name. You’ll get the point.
Continental Who’s Who — Welcome to our Inner Circle.
Continental Who´s Who recognizes and empowers executives, professionals and entrepreneurs in a multitude of industries around the world.
Clara, you have been selected for Inclusion with the Continental Who´s Who. Recognition of this kind is an honor shared by talented individuals who hold knowledge and experience in a particular field, demonstrate a commitment to excellence, and seek career advancement or enhancement.
We are confident that this opportunity to be published will be highly rewarding for you, both professionally and personally. Please take the time to complete your online application.
So you click through and see your personalized greeting and hear the audio message complimenting you on your status in the business community. Moments after you complete your “application” you will get a phone call again commending you on the contributions you’ve made to worldwide peace, global warming, and eliminating poverty. And then they offer to let you be a full member of this elite network or successful professionals for only $750 for a lifetime membership or $500 for the first five years. If there is any hesitation the “editor” of this prestigious organization mentions that she thought you were a “decision maker.”
Now have some fun with this. You can put your own name where I’ve put my granddaughter’s and see your own personal invitation to this elite organization. Of course you can put in your dog’s name, the town drunk or Adolf Hitler.
I encourage being creative with business marketing. But I cringe when I see these things that play on someone’s ego and then attempt to sell the “honor” that was bestowed on them. Beware of awards that appear out of the blue. You may be notified that you are “Man of the Year,” allowed to be in a Who’s Who in American Colleges, or that you were left $15 million by former prince in Nigeria. Watch out – they’re all after your money. Don’t let your vanity empty your bank account.
Incidentally we’d like to give you an honorary doctorate from the University of Hard Knocks. Just send $39 for shipping and handling to……………