Phone Spam – What Are You Paying For? Be Sure the Value is There BEFORE You Buy

It seems as if there are daily “opportunities” to invest, market a business, raise your profile, and so on.  Many of them hit your e-mail box numerous times and you can usually identify spam offers.  But what about those which come by telephone and seem to offer genuine opportunities?  What about those which come as a part of fundraisers for political organizations or with “awards”?  What are the probable returns these expenditures will bring?

Let’s talk probable.  What is the likelihood that a $500 donation to a national political action group or other organization will net you an audience with the one person you’ve been trying to reach?  What is the probability that having your name among thousands on a single ad will net you new business, build your profile, or give you credibility as a “business advisor” to any organization?

There are several possible things this $500 will get you – input to surveys and opinion studies and the long shot that you may be asked to one-on-one with an influential member of the group.  You probably will have better odds at winning a lottery or getting struck by lightning.

Okay I’m a skeptic.  I don’t trust those phone calls that come intermittently to ask for my support, to give me an “honorary” title.  I also know  these opportunities could be the first step in gaining entry to a larger group, the “inner circle”, and could (long shot) get me where I believe I could make a significant contribution.

What I also know is that I don’t get that for $500.  The $500 is the price of admission and just the tip of the iceberg of what I’d need to spend to get to the “inner circle”.  I also know that spending alone will get me only a cursory meeting at best.  The “inner circle” of any organization is well protected by those already in it AND, while it took money for them to get there too, it also took time and effort on supporting the organizations goals, objectives, and “stars”.

Every organization is different, but they share an underlying truism – you have to have something they want or need AND you have to have the leverage to get where you want to be.  If you are comfortable with what you get for $500 then go for it.  If you want more than what they are offering and can see this as a first step, then get started.  If you are expecting “magic” from the $500, then you are better off buying a magician’s kit and becoming good at pulling rabbits out of hats.

Whether you are buying an advertisement, hiring public relations or marketing firm, or joining an organization to make connections, the underlying return on investment calculation requires a realistic assessment of what you are going to get out of the dollars you are investing.  What value are you going to get for the $500 (or whatever  amount)?  If you know the deliverable, the outcome you want to achieve and understand the odds of it happening, then you may want to take the opportunity.  Just be sure you aren’t being SPAMMED by phone.

Another precaution about these telephone opportunities – be sure you know who is on the other end of the line.  Identity theft, both individual and business, is rampant and it is never a good idea to give out your credit card or other information unless you know who is on the other end of the line.  Take care that you know who you are dealing with, that your information is protected, and that you know the “value” you place on the opportunity before you.

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