I am writing this pre-dawn.
I need to write my blog before my very busy day of client work starts in a couple of hours' time.
I am feeling pleased that I have found via Twitter, what I think will be, a really interesting piece of research (below) that I will write about.
Before I start writing my blog, I take a closer look at the source quoted on the slide: National Sales Executive Association. It sounds reputable, but I've never heard of such an association. I'm in a hurry, but having once been embarrassed through the use of data that I later found out to be made up, I decided to investigate further, just to be sure. I pride myself on my reputation (such as it is) and I don't want to use unsubstantiated data and risk another red face.
I also want to know more about the research; whether it was American or global research, what type of sales people were studied, when the research was completed and the sample size from which the data was drawn.
I Google ‘National Sales Executive Association' and here's what came up on the first page of the search results:
I read and scroll down the search results and click on the bottom link.
I am taken to this blog by Stewart Rogers, posted on 15 August 2014. Rogers' blog post (I encourage you to read it) is his account of discovering that the information I was about to use is false; completely made up. The National Sales Executive Association doesn't exist, and never has existed, as far as Rogers can discover. Yet the data this mythical organisation has ‘produced' is widely quoted, by reputable people, at reputable events and in reputable books (Rogers' blog provides specifics).
I almost became another in that long line of suckers.
What is this blog about now? Your reputation.
Don't assume. Don't rush. Don't take short cuts.
Be professional. Be sceptical. Be thorough. Be proud of getting it right.
In this day and age, it doesn't take much to be fooled. And it doesn't take much to prevent being fooled.
What will you choose?
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