Open that complaint box, you’ll find your excuses there…

April 13, 2021

by Kenneth Holland

'Sales prospects can smell neediness from 100 miles away. The simplest way to eliminate this from your business is to take away the complaint box, from yourself.'

“You’re too late…this offer is closed. Besides, you’ve cancelled twice on the subscription so I wouldn’t let you back in anyway.”

As I was reading this email, I started to get pissed off. ‘Oh, so he’s really not going to take my money…RIGHT!!’ I muttered to myself.

Right he was…and he was dead serious.

I’m referring to one of the most successful email marketers and sales copywriters out there.

His name is Ben Settle. And he has a monthly training program on email marketing that runs 100 bucks a month.

I had subscribed to his newsletter…and cancelled twice on the subscription (just like Ben had reminded me above). I was trying to get back in to his membership because he was offering a bonus I wanted.


When you dip in to the complaint box one too many times...

Ben writes in some of his emails that he wants long-time subscribers who view his newsletter as an investment, not a temporary ‘gimmick’ to make a bunch of money by next Tuesday (which doesn’t happen BTW…and you already know this if you’ve decided to hop on the reality train).

He also points out that he rarely lets people back in who have cancelled their membership, because they’ve proven they’re not serious.

He doesn’t…and he’s right.

It was a real turning point for me. It didn’t take me long to look in the mirror and say to myself, ‘he’s right.’

(By the way, I highly recommend his membership if you’re really serious about upping your game in email and crafting interesting stories that lead to sales. And I say this with ZERO compensation from a guy who booted me out.)

This is one THE best examples on positioning that I can give you.

Now, some would argue this example is a bit extreme. If someone wants to resubscribe, why wouldn’t you take their money? In Settle’s case, he wants rabid subscribers that take his teaching seriously and long-term, because he knows those people likely become evangelists for him.

Gary Vaynerchuk Sets The Record Straight on Complaining and Taking Ownership (and He's 100% Right)

If you’re complaining, about anything, then you need to audit yourself. You can’t just go watch House of Cards. You can’t play ball all day. You can’t go to ballet shows. You can’t sit there and ponder the what-ifs like: “What if I had rich parents” or “what if I grew up in a better neighborhood” or “what if I made that investment” or “what if I want to that school.” You gotta work to fix it.
In today’s world, we’re so ingrained to expect instant gratification and that our problems can be solved with minimal effort. Patience is real and so is hard work. Sometimes, that hard work might not even be as terrible as you think. Need more money? We live in a 24-7 world where you can make money in your underwear. Think about it.
If there’s one thing I want you to learn from reading this, it’s that complaining has zero value. Looking at the negative, seeing the glass as half empty, and complaining are some of the biggest wastes of time a human being can engage in. Instead, tackle the problem head on. Assess it, see what you can do about it, and then do just that. “Woe is me” is truly one of the biggest things that can stand in the way of success both professionally and personally.

- Gary Vee

I Had to Audit Myself on my Bitching and Complaining...Not an Easy Thing to Do...

Why? Because it's downright uncomfortable to check your ego and admit you're wrong.

I acted in the VERY MANNER that I've railed against for 20 years. I ditched the investment mindset (when I cancelled Ben's subscription 2 times) and acted like a full-on flake.

A flake.

So Settle did what he should have done (and not many actually do): Booted me out...and let me know: "You're not welcome back."

Deep in the back of my mind, it still pisses me off and it actually still makes me mad at him (ego again).

But he's right.

And because of that, I STILL, to this day, read his daily emails.

Discard the Neediness and the Excuse

For the beginner and expert marketer alike, coming from a position of confidence, and NOT from neediness, makes all the difference in the world.

Sales prospects can smell neediness from 100 miles away.

Don’t be needy. And the simplest way to eliminate this from your business is to constantly have a steady stream of prospects to connect with.

Then, you can choose who you want to work with and sell to. YOU qualify THEM. Not the other way around.

This is what I do in my business…I choose who I work with. Do I want to be helpful and empower others to succeed? Of course. But I can tell fairly quickly if someone is serious and ready to start a business.


If they’re bent on reaching in to that complaint box that they covet to find this week’s excuse, I don’t want their money.

I want serious. Then I’ll go to battle with them.

Otherwise, I show them the door.

Don't believe me? Try it...