Friday, October 20, 2006

Successful Fraudsters

A few weeks ago, my colleague gave me 5 CDs worth of a seminar titled "Hypnotic Selling" by a man named Marshall Sylver.
Knowing that I would soon have to start doing a sales job for my little dotcom, I decided to listen to the audio while working (whoever said men can't multi-task).

I always fear two things when buying books or going for seminars.

1) That the book/seminar author/speaker turns out to be the Master of the Obvious. For example, books in MPH with titles like "How to be a millionaire?" end up telling you things like

"To make money... you have to buy low and sell high"

In which upon reading such material you think to yourself:
WOAAAAHH.. THAT IS DEEP... Thank you for telling me something I couldn't possibly have figured out myself.

Why don't you tell me more things that I can't possibly figure out myself... that "fingernails grow" or "ice cubes are cold".
2) That the book/seminar tells you to things that are good in concept but not specific enough to apply in real life.

For example,
"If you want to be a good salesman, every time before you do a sales pitch, visualise in your mind that you do a flawless presentation and believe that the client will say YES. You can only do it if you believe you can do it!"

I don't know about everyone else but when I read/hear things like that, I feel like not only have I not learned anything from that sentence but that I've actually grown dummer just by listening to it.

Ok back to Marshall Slyver.By the time I had reached halfway into his seminar (after forwarding a lot of rubbish), I began to doubt this guy. I looked for him on Wikipedia but I didn't find anything there.

Then I got suspicious.

I Googled "Marshall Slyver" and there it was.

His website saying how he was one of the most sought-after speakers in the world.

Sure.. it was HIS website.

If I ever had a, I would have it say that I have a penis the size of a whale.

So then I Googled "Marshall Slyver Fraud" and the truth came out.

The man was hardly a sales man.

In fact, he was just a hypnotist performer at Las Vegas.

Now would you take lessons on "How To Sell" from a "Stage Performer" ?
(And NO, eventhough his seminar was called "Hypnotic Selling", it had nothing to do with how to hypnotise an eskimo to get him to buy ice from you).

That's like taking flying lessons from an elephant.Now only was he never a salesman, he is a fraudster who wound up in court for "Obtaining money under false pretenses."

(The story goes that he gave a course that teached everyone to be a millionaire with a money back guarantee. When people went for his course and realised that it was bullshit, they demanded they money back but he didn't keep up to his word).

This reminds me of Robert Kiyosaki.
We all remember Robert the Man for his book "Rich Dad Poor Dad".

I remember reading his book ages ago after everybody kept telling me how good his book was.

I read his book with excitement. By the time I had finished his book I felt like a genius.

It was the best book I had ever read (at the time).

He gave me brilliant advice like
“the reason you want to have rich friends” is to get inside stock market information that you can make low-risk profits.

Sounds like a plan!

But after I finished the book I started thinking... ok ... how exactly do I apply it to my life?

For example, I know that I'm supposed to have rich friends but how do I get to know them?

(Another good example of telling you something so vague that it's hardly specific enough to be applicable at all in life)

So I did some research on who he really is and found out that he wasn't that multi-millionaire that he claimed to be before he wrote the book.

And even after writing so many books, one which was very successful, he is still no where near as rich as he claims to be.

But that's not all, most of the things that were written in the book about his experiences and even the characters... were all fiction!

"Rich Dad" in the book is as real as "Harry Potter".

(But I won't bore you with the details of the Robert Kiyosaki's fraud, read them here if you want).

At the end of the day, I took the CDs of Marshall Sylver's seminar back to my colleague and said

"Thanks so much for the CDs dude. I have some bad news for you though... the man is a fraud... and has probably never even sold food to a starving rich man before in his life".

If my colleague was shocked he didn't show it.

I then went on to say
"Next time before we decide to listen to anyone else's advice... try to find out who you're taking the advice from."

Then to illustrate my point I said

"If Timothy Tiah gave you advice... you'll tell him to go dildo himself right?"


Anonymous said...


jed said...

I read that book before as well. Not even halfway through, I chucked it in the corner of my shelf, never to be touched again. I'm still wondering how I was in possesion of the book at the first place... hhhmmm...

Boss Stewie said...

jed: but i must say it was quite an easy read

prawn said...

Yeh.. i had a copy of 'rich dad poor dad' book. It was really really a rip off, waste money only.

Ianfluenza said...

In my mind when I read the name Marshall Slyver, it sounded so uncannilly like Marshall SALIVA...

All non-constructive saliva brings a momentary placebo effect, making you think that you're inspired, until your conscience returns and tell you that you've just been ripped off.. LOL!

Boss Stewie said...

prawn: yeah... well.. one man's meat is another man's poison.. we may think it sucks but loads of other people may think it's brilliant.

ian: hahaha "momentary placebo effect"... omg.. you've managed to put it perfectly into words.. you're right! you're absolutely right!

Hasan said...

Advice is only as good as the person who gives it to you. You take advice on investing from Warren Buffett and advice on running a chicken farm from a chicken farmer, not the other way around. Now go out and try to meet Richard Branson, not a Las Vegas performer. Fool.

suicidalconversationjunkie said...

If u're really looking to read about some serious sales techniques, i think "Keeping the Funnel Full" by some HP dude is pretty good.

Well at least my dad thought it was good and he made me do an entire project for his company on it and hence now i think it's good too.

and btw rich dad poor dad sucked bigblackhairymonstererectiledysfunctionaluncircumcised dick. hahahaha

Boss Stewie said...

hasan: ahh yes... thanks for the good advice hasan.. no wait... the advice is only as good as the person that gives it so.... uhmm... hahaha

suicidal: ohh.. alright i'll look out for it in mph the next time i go (which is not long.. i go every week)

Anonymous said...

dear tim, honesty is the best policy, no need pretty sales talk! what you need to do is to know your product very well, and find out what your client needs...see your client as a friend that need your help! be yourself!

all the best to you!

Boss Stewie said...

thanks for the advice anonymous

Lance said...

Absolutely, right. =)

Lance said...

Absolutely, right. =)

Boss Stewie said...

lance: ahh lance! here u are! haven't seen u in a while

Chapree Da Grande said...

Making money by telling how to make money = subconcious conning. Don't you think so? LOL.

Boss Stewie said...

chapree: ahahha well that's one way of looking at things?

Lance said...

Well, since I never received ur MSN msg on ur workplace add, I went hunting for you... well... at Langkawi. ^^;

Leon said...

I used to like him too. Now that I'm older and wiser, I realize most of the stuff he writes is bs.

-erintan- said...

Timothy Tiah give advice, MUST BUY WAAAANN!!! What are you thinking? Confirm got results wan....

William Leong said...

hahhaa, this brings up the ad by Lilian Too during CNYs... the sms 32323 thingy...

"to have good feng shui.... you 1st have to.." (and then it ends there)

she's better off saying, "to get rich, you 1st have to make me rich"

aL said...

true enuf. i mean...if the book can guide us to being rich, there'll be no more poor in the world rite? sigh...these authors...

btw, i saw you in Menara Northam the other day. hehe. u got msn? add me at =)

stev said...

its a bitch-eat-bitch-world

hooray :D

Screwed said...

I just returned from Marshall Sylver's Millionaire Mentorship program in Orlando which was held in February 2007. His program is utter bullshit. He's not even in the building approximately 50% of the time.
Basically, it's an expensive sales pitch. People pay $6k to hear Marshall Sylver tell them how to be a millionaire but instead they mainly hear other sales people try to sell them an array of different & unrelated self-help products.
After skipping the 3rd day because Marshall was not there (the other sales people were) I came back on the 4th and final day willing to give him another chance. He didn't come in to speak that day until 2PM and the seminar ended at 6PM. So he as there about 20% of the time, if that, the final 2 days of a 3.5 day event.
At 2 PM was he going to speak and teach you how to be a millionaire? No. Instead, he was going to perform his Vegas stage show and hypnotize members of the audience into doing different stunts on stage. Does that have anything to do with teaching you how to be a millionairem? Of course not.
I asked for a refund on the last day, and his office manager, Donnell, refused saying that I didn't qualify for a refund because I didn't attend all of the classes. I asked, "Are you calling the 2 days worth of sales pitches classes? She replied,"Those are classes. But if you want to think of them as sales pitches, that's fine. Either way, I won't refund your money because you didn't attend those."
So I basically wasted $6k on a multi-level sales pitch where the main speaker that everyone paid to see was not on stage for over 50%of the seminar.
Unfortunately, the classes didn't contain enough information on their own to teach how to follow thru on the subject matter so the speakers charged between $1,000 and $5,000 to learn the information that they were pitching.
So if you're thinking about attending any of his events, it is in your best interest to rethink your decision as it will be an expensive lesson. One that I certainly won't soon forget.

Brian Hardy
Tyler, TX

Lori Rhodes Blog said...

I sit in amazement at the blogs here. I too attended the MMP in Orlando in July 07'. My family and I got to know many of the people who attended Marshalls Seminars. It all comes down to one thing... YOU! It's what you take from any seminar you want. At the MMP Marshall was showing and giving great information. YOU have to find your passion and figure out how to make money at it. Was the MMP his best seminar? NOT a chance and he knew it so much that he doesn't even do it any longer. If you are looking to get rich quick there is no such thing! Marshall just speaks on how to use the powers in you and in your own mind and life to overcome challenges and leap hurdles.
It is no different in any seminar you go to. He is not a God, He is one may helping you to change your life. If you remember the MMP he even states that he would not be there the hole time because he did not want you to lean on him all the time. There are times in your life that you have to hold YOURSELF accountable.
With Marshalls help and through his seminars and coaching, I have completed my first book and am in the process of writing two others. Along with my CD's on taking control of you! We're all in control of our own minds and actions. You choose to do with it what you can. You can not blame one man for your short comings. Take some responsibility for yourself.

Lori L. Rhodes

Tammy said...

I am in agreement with Lori. I have INVESTED in many of Marshall's seminars and have got my investment back 10 fold when it comes to cash and even more so in personal growth (which you can't put a price tag on). I am in sales in corporate america - have a great career and Marshall's events inspire me to be a better person, better sales person and experience my life joyfully.
Thank you Marshall!