bargain-455999_640I received an interesting email this morning from a company which says it’s recruiting coaches for another (unnamed) firm.  Having a little time to investigate, and being inquisitive, I decided to check it out.

The first thing I did was to type in the name of this company and its website and the word “scam” into Google.  That often finds people who are talking about it in a negative way; if they’re using the word “scam” then they have fairly strong feelings.

In this case, it didn’t really come up with anything interesting, so I guess that’s a good sign.

But what really set me off was the fact that this message seemed inconsistent and playing with my emotions.  They claimed something about having 500 slots available, and being down to their last 100.

  • Proof of others jumping on board.  Check.
  • Limited availability. Check.
  • Being part of something larger than myself. Check.

bargain-455990_640As I used my Google powers a little further, I came across a price schedule for this service, and it started to paint an image in my mind.

They’re trying to get coaches to sign up for a “certificate” and sell a marketing package.  Market value of $3000!  But for you, only $800!

I’m not big on that whole “market value” thing.  It’s like the advertisements you see which will sell  you a chair for $400, but “compare at $900!”  Yup, $400 is less than $900, I’m pretty smart.  Nope, I don’t believe anyone would ever pay $900.  But thank you for encouraging me to compare.

But what really got me is that this initial message said nothing about what they were actually selling.  It could have been anything, but they want to “interview” me to see if they’ll “let me join” the team.

Anybody who won’t mention their product and just have lots of smiling faces on their website – that’s not for me.

I see these kinds of things all the time.  Don’t get  me wrong – there’s lots of great companies out there which are being creative and delivering solid value.  But there’s a lot of others which are preying on vulnerable people, hoping to draw people in based on emotional appeal.

This was happening a lot during the recession, but is still going pretty strong.

I’d like to hope we’ve learned our lesson, right?