"But he SAID it was important to him!"

How often does someone tell you that their weight (or organic or the environment) is important to them, but then, when they have a chance to try a product or program that helps that, they flake?

Research shows what we all know: there’s almost always a disconnect between values people say they have, and what they actually do and spend money on.

“A whopping majority of Americans shoppers may consider themselves environmentalists, but, according to the Journal of Industrial Ecology, only 10-12% ‘actually go out of their way to purchase environmentally sound products.’

“Similarly, Brandweek reported on a survey that found that even among consumers who called themselves ‘environmentally conscious,’ more than half could not name a single green brand.” –Fast Company magazine, June, 2008

So don’t blame yourself if the person who said they were interested in your natural weight loss product, flaked when you called to follow up.

Good intentions are just that. For all of us. Who here is not feeling totally over-committed already? So all we can do is express these other interests. Doing something about them – yeah right – next lifetime?

You job is to ask for those where there’s a match between your favorite thing about your product or program, and one of their primary life-guiding values – not just their stated (politically correct) concerns. Some those life-guiding values might surprise you. The promise of more fun in their life might well outsell organic. Sigh.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • OMG… get outta my head, Kim!

    If I just had a nickel for everyone who said they wanted to change their life — then sign up — and THEN DO NOTHING! Don’t return emails, don’t make it to meetings, don’t sign up for free trainings. Squat. Zilch. Nada.

    LOLOL — I thought it was just me… now I know to keep working on being a better leader, but to keep the “venters” in their proper perspective.

    “Primary life-guiding values”… I like that! That helps!

    Angie Melecio

  • Hi, I really liked your post so I submitted it to Yearblook is a competition to find the best blog posts, and they print the winners in a book. Good luck

  • Thin, healthy people have a hard time understanding this, but those of us who are or have been overweight can understand. Most of us have tried a LOT of the “diet” junk on the market. And believe me, most of it is JUNK.

    I love food. Do I want to give it up to eat veggies and fruit? NO!!!

    Most overweight people feel the same. However, when I let people know that I started out at over 340 lbs. 2 years ago and am now down to less than 240 and I still eat my favorite foods, they love to listen.

    However, if I tell them I have a “natural weight loss product” they RUN and run fast. To those of us who have tried dieting over and over again, we equate “natural” with HORRIBLE TASTING.

    Now, when I tell people that I eat cookies, drink shakes, take supplements and am still able to eat my favorite foods, their ears perk up.

    It’s all in how you present it to people.

    I don’t know how many times I bought diet products only to read the insert that said I have to eat fish and salad and plain tuna and fruit all day. YUK!!!!! If I did that, I would be able to lose weight without the diet product that cost an exorbitant amount of money.

    Overweight people aren’t stupid. We know we are overweight and we know it’s because of what we eat. But…when we feel deprived (which most diet products and “natural” weight loss products make us feel) we give up or “flake”.


  • Here is a way to tie them down and/or find the truth. Ask them what they have done along the lines of what you are talking about. “So you would be excited to lose some weight and have more energy – what kinds of things have you tried already to lose some weight?” It’s easy to find out if they are serious or not and what their commitment level is. It also gives you leverage to Amp up your solution’s benefits if it can really help them.

    Just my Nickel and 2 cents (inflation?)


  • It is said that the road to destruction is paved with good intentions – How many of us have made steller new year resolutions and failed to keep them. I wonder if the Kol Nidre covers these types of infractions! Its a prayer, you know.
    “Could lack of money have something to do with lack of follow through?” … I ponder.


  • I can’t remember who said it, but I’ve remembered it for years..!
    If you want to get an idea about whether someone carries through with their intentions, ask them if they ever joined a Gym or tried to lose weight.
    Listen to what they actually did and it will give you clues as to their default behaviour pattern.
    I’ve found this a very useful question to ask…

  • Roxanne:

    You write:

    “Overweight people aren’t stupid. We know we are overweight and we know it’s because of what we eat. But…when we feel deprived (which most diet products and “natural” weight loss products make us feel) we give up or “flake”.

    Amen. The calorie counting deprivation model has made things worse, not better. There are mountains of research coming out now that confirm what every overweight person could have told them – if anyone had bothered to listen and get their own ideas out of their minds long enough to make room for a different idea – namely, calorie restriction does NOT work for most people.

    Nor does taking a supplement by itself do much over the long term. It’s learning how to eat real food, among other things, and as much as you need and WITH the good tasting stuff like real butter on top.

    But that is all just now coming to the surface.

    Jodi – you ask:
    “Could lack of money have something to do with lack of follow through?”
    There are too many people who did follow through on all sorts of things – without enough money – that this is not a credible excuse anymore.

    Thanks, Angie…
    And Shelagh and gang…

  • Hi Kim,

    It’s interesting how you describe people who choose not to use your product or service: “They flake”.

    A lot goes into the choices people make. Sometimes they just don’t want to buy, no matter how perfect you think your product is for them. Why should this be puzzling or disturbing? After all, you’ve shown us many times that it’s not what WE think that matters, it’s what potential customers or clients think/feel that moves them. We all have our own distorted eyeglasses on, even those of us who think we know something. 🙂

    By the way, regarding weight loss: I’m reading Dr. Mary Enig’s 2005 book, “Eat Fat, Lose Fat”. Real good food, minus hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives, plus the right blend of good fats –> real good change in body makeup! Pleasant learning, for me.

    Best wishes,

  • Hi Pam:

    You write:
    “A lot goes into the choices people make. Sometimes they just don’t want to buy, no matter how perfect you think your product is for them. Why should this be puzzling or disturbing?”

    The context of “they flake” in this post was after someone expresses an interest in something, something specific, like a natural weight loss remedy. Then, when it’s time to do something, like consider the product that was discussed, they suddenly disappear.

    People who SAY they have an interest in a certain value represented by a product someone’s presenting, then do little or just slip away when a person follows up – that is the context for they ‘flake.’

    If a person has no interest to begin with, no problem. I wasn’t referring to that situation.

    It’s like the environmental study showed – most everyone says they’re e-conscious, but only 10-12% go out of their way to buy green products.

    Those are the types of folks I was referring to. They state an interest, then disappear.

  • How interesting to watch this post get a bit off topic, just like our sponsorship can…people don’t become overweight or out of shape because of their relationship with food or their aversion to exercise, it has more to do with their relationship with themselves. We often get so focused on our products or business that we forget to explore the core values of the person we’re speaking with , which by the way, are almost always evident by the way they are living their life. Even once on board, the development of the relationship with the person, learning about their core values, etc will do more to move their business activities than anything else.

    That’s why this is called a relationship business and that’s the really challenging work of it! For all of us that’s probably one of the most difficult things to look at and certainly to work on, distractions are everywhere to put it off till “later”.

  • Unless someone is completely motivated to do something, follow-through will oftentimes be hard to come by. Sure, the IDEA that something is good to do (lose weight because it’s healthy and you’ll look better, buy environmentally conscious products because it will help heal the Earth, etc etc) is appealing and many people will hollar “Sure! Sign me up!” but when it comes down to putting in the effort, unfortunately many people can’t be bothered because the incentive is not great enough for them.

    I agree – the promise of more fun will probably outsell the promise that something is organic… but then again, if doing a good thing came easily to people, we would be a nation (and a world) with a lot less problems than we face now.

  • We are a society of busy people who want convenience and need affordability. If something is not convenient, then it must be very important to us personally.

    1) Valuable to us
    2) Convenient
    3) Affordable

    Of course each one of us will have a different definition for each area.

    I may be willing to spend more on an environmentally product, but draw the line at weight loss products or vise versa….

    Brenda Bunney

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