Seth Godin wrote a great little blog post this morning:
I posted the following quote on Facebook:
“Gaming the system is never the goal. The goal is the goal.”
I always enjoy Seth’s blog posts because they get my brain moving in interesting directions . . . I derive benefit every time read one of his short, pithy posts.
Through the years, I’ve corresponded occasionally with Seth . . . Whenever one of his posts strikes a chord with me, I send him a VERY brief email letting him know.
The FUN part of having done this is my reward . . . Seth has ALWAYS PERSONALLY responded IMMEDIATELY with a VERY short “Thank You!” or other brief comment.
This False Proxy Trap post was one of those special ones because it brought to my mind one of my pet peeves with “Sales People” . . . Those ones who get “Commission Breath” and the transaction becomes more about them making their commission than fulfilling the needs of the customer/client.
THAT’S a “False Proxy” (The goal becomes salesperson’s commission and not the customer’s goal) and often results in a poor reputation that reflects on ALL sales people when it happens. Some companies are battling this stigma with their “Our sales people don’t work on commission” approaches.
As I have done other times, I sent Seth a short message to his personal gmail account . . .
Guess what I got back?
I got back a “FALSE PROXY” in the form of an auto-responder:
This is an automated reply.
I’m sorry that I’m unable to personally read the replies that come
from my blog, but I’m just not capable of keeping up.
If you need to reach me directly, you can try me at
___________, but please bear with me, as the asymmetrical
nature of email makes it almost impossible to do justice to the
correspondence I get.
It could be that Seth did this on purpose to demonstrate his point in the post . . . but I don’t think so.
Aw shucks! He doesn’t love me (or anyone else like me) enough to allow my message through his wall . . . Suddenly, the luster is gone.
I’ll continue to read Seth’s blogs because I believe he’s brilliant . . .
but he’s going to miss out on my occasional accolades . . .
Do you think he’ll miss me?
Be careful with auto-responders . . . They’re simply False Proxies, and a big “Turn-off” for folks attempting to communicate with you.
Sure! Use them sparingly to redirect incoming communication during those times when you are not available . . . and be sure they point folks to a living and breathing person within your organization.
Your “Public” wants YOU . . . not a false proxy of you!