Ever Been Ripped A New One?

 In Blog

I have. Though, come to think of it, I don’t know exactly what “one” is! Just today, in fact, did some ripping occur…

I’m a member of several different collegiate associations. I use these organizations to help me market my speaking services to the universities and colleges that most frequently request them. As an associate member in these orgs, I am allowed to send a limited number of unsolicited contacts to other members every year. I usually go by the 2, 2 and 2 rule: 2 calls, 2 E mails or 2 pieces of hard copy mail. How often? Spread out over two semesters.

So, today I was doing my marketing and working through a list of fraternity and sorority advisors. I try to make my personality come across in my E marketing pieces. One of the biggest compliments I’ve ever received is that my books and speaking services should carry an R rating. R for Real. I don’t sugar coat things, I am totally myself and I’m real. Audiences are too savvy these days for any speaker to think they can get away with playing a character. Just be real. People respond to real people. And I’m one of them.

Anywho, in my E marketing piece, I posed the question: Would you like to work with a speaker who does’t suck, isn’t a diva and will leave your students with an unforgettable message?”

I received a response saying, “I don’t want to work with a speaker who’s sales pitch includes the phrase ‘who doesn’t suck.'” We’re organizations of values and leadership. Please remove me from your mailing list.

I keep a running list of those who asked to be removed, and this person’s name/address immediately went on it. I respect the privacy of those I mail. But, since I have a blog, and I’m still a little hot under the collar about his response, I’m going to vent. Here goes:

First, it’s anyone’s choice who they want to work with. I choose my business partners and everyone has that right. So does this guy. Still, here’s what I don’t think he gets:

Those of us who work in fraternity and sorority life have, for years, tried to dismantle the image set by “Animal House.” We’ve spent a great deal of time basing our fraternal organizations around the motto and positive teachings of each organization. It’s not just wild parties, drunken orgies and Belusi-ish antics. I believe that, I live that, I want others to know the qualities and values of these organizations.

But, here’s the question…does using the word “suck” denote…well, anything? I have to imagine that every IFC and/or Pan Hellenic meeting this person advises uses that word at least once. And I’ bet anything the members of the organizations involved do, too. And, I’d even go out on a limb to suggest that this gent, too, has some words in his vocabulary which others might find objectionable.

To me, my words show I’m real. That’s how I talk. Both on the platform and off. And if someone doesn’t like it? Well, that’s their perogative. But to insinuate that to use the word “suck” somehow devalues the quality and value of fraternities and sororities? Brother, you’re way, way off base.

At the end of the day, I took note of his concern. I disagree, but his point is noted. And his name and address are now on my “Do Not Mail” list. And I’ve deleted his little rant. I’ll sleep fine tonight knowing I’m still me. I hope he will, too.

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