I recently attended the Glazer-Kennedy InfoSummit this past fall in Atlanta where, interestingly enough, Bill Glazer decides to "retire" just days before the conference he promised for several months to speak at. After all, it is (or rather was) part his company. It was very strange how he suddenly jumped ship before an important 5-day conference.
Okay, so Dan Kennedy "saved the day" by speaking for approximately 5 hours over the course of 2 days. You go Dan!
Still, having been an on-and-off subscriber of Dan's Inner Circle newsletter since he was Empire Communications in Phoenix, Arizona, he went from being a devoted consultant and marketing "guru" to entrepreneurs of all walks of business to a money-hungry "churn-em-and-burn-em" mentality through his copy-and-paste "series" of entrepreneur books he uses as beefed-up sales letters for his overpriced courses and seminars offering nothing but the same old-dinosaur rehashed crap from 20 years ago. Uh...hello. As you keep stating in your own books, Dan, the economy has dramatically shifted. The old marketing mentalities don't quite cut it anymore.
What I dislike the most about Dan Kennedy and what he's turned into these days is mostly his contradiction. For example, in the beginning of this book, he goes on to say that in his early years of being an entreprenuer, namely taking over a sinking company, he delved into management books left and right just to discover that most of the authors didn't know diddly-squat about management; many had never managed any crew, staff, or business in their entire lives and it was the college-professor notion of teaching theory about something you've never done before. Yet, he talks (almost with pride) about how one of his students (and doesn't name him but I know it's Rory Fatt) had never owned a restaurant yet he teaches restaurant owners how to market their businesses. One minute it irks him that people are selling books out there on subjects they know nothing about then turns around and praises someone like Rory Fatt for selling his overpriced seminars and courses to restauranteers on marketing their businesses when he's never owned or managed a restaurant in his life.
Then Dan goes on about how he learned to "shut off the phones" at his office and basically offer only select call in days/times his customers could call in and order, complain, ask about shipping, etc. In fact, I remember this time when his staff only took calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays for about 1/2 of the day. These days, you can't call his organization to talk to someone live to save your life. And he thinks this is making his employees more "productive" because they aren't being "bothered" answering the phone.
Hate to break it to you, Dan, but part of marketing IS customer service. And customer service includes answering the phone. Some of your staff should ONLY be answering the phone and that IS their productivity. They are the ones taking orders (making you money), satisfying inquiries (making customers happy and they will buy more), and diffusing complaints (keeping relationships in tact, making you more money in the long haul). Yet Dan seems to find no importance in any of this. As long as you keep on pumping out new sales letters and marketing campaigns, screw any type of customer service. It has no relevance on Planet Dan.
I have found this recently with Dan's company, Glazer-Kennedy, when 2 things happened:
1) I purchased 2 overpriced services from 2 different speakers at his last InfoSummit in Atlanta this past November. The speakers didn't perform the service. They just blew me off completely. I had no one to call at the Glazer-Kennedy organization. I had no means of communication on how I was ripped off by about $4,000 and I wanted my money back. I had an email address and nothing more. I send my email into the black abyss to receive no response by anyone part of Glazer-Kennedy. I finally had to file a dispute with my credit card company because the speakers/vendors never rendered the service. Of course, I heard nothing from the Glazer-Kennedy organization about my complaint, chargeback, or my concerns about their having fraudsters speak at their InfoSummit convention.
2) I purchased a couple more courses from the Dan Kennedy catalog. I was overcharged. Again, there was no phone number to reach anyone. There was an email address in which no one ever responded to my email. I sent the stuff back. I received no refund. I, again, found myself having to file more credit card chargebacks, wasting more of my valuable time and getting even more irate with Glazer-Kennedy.
Now I'm a pissed off customer that he once had as a "somewhat loyal" follower who had just spent upwards of $10,000 on in the past 6 months not to mention what I had spent in the past several years. So, I go from a valuable follower spending a good amount of money on his stuff to a full-blown Dan hater never to do business with him again all within 60 days.
And supposedly this guy is a "marketing genius."
Okay, so he can get people to buy stuff but he misses the mark when it comes to the REQUIRED "back end" customer care that IS PART OF MARKETING.
In this book he states that he's glad he's retired because the New Economy will be so tough for most entrepreneurs since the rules have changed to a massive degree. Dan Kennedy SHOULD be scared of this New Economy because this isn't a place he would survive using his half-assed customer service tactics. He couldn't get away with selling an overpriced, outdated product to someone and give them severely limited "hours of operation" phone call days/times (and nowadays NO PHONE NUMBER TO CALL), a fax number, and an email address no one ever responds to. Dan would NEVER survive in such a marketplace.
What Dan sells (and tells people to do) and what he actually does in his company are 2 different things. There is a huge chasm of disparity.
So, this is the moment where I get to say that sometimes it's a good thing when old dinosaurs meander off to pasture...to die. Out with the old, in with the new. Out with old, outdated "theories" on how to run a business with no customer service techniques in place as part of your overall marketing strategy. In with the New Economy that will show businesses how to run like a well-oiled machine...something Dan will never know anything about.