“Hi, I’ve got an invite to Netgain”
“Can I take your name?”
“Welcome. David will show you where to get coffee”
Those few words are exchanged Friday mornings as invited guests appear. Nearly all potential members are referred by carefully selected contacts spread across a handful of business hot spots in Cardiff. Guest attendance is a well-orchestrated process and recent changes were achieving a 100% weekly sign-up rate.
“Welcome to Netgain” announced Lorraine in a humble yet powerful tone that immediately put the most nervous at ease. “Today is a bit special. As some of you know, I am stepping down from running Netgain full time and handing over to Anne. I’ve enjoyed the last ten years and it’s time to slow down a bit!” Lorraine commanded the room. Not with what she said. She could say any string of words in any order and you’d drink up every syllable. Her private education in Cardiff had given her something that those around her liked and trusted, but couldn't quiet put their finger on. “It’s early and there is lots to get through, so I’ll hand over to Anne right now. I’ll be around at the end for a natter”
Members knew this was coming and gave her a hearty round of applause. They didn’t know why Anne was chosen, but then nobody else really wanted to be group leader. Why bother, they all had it so good already.
“Morning all. You don’t hear my voice very often and I have no speech other than let’s crack on. We have five guests and I’d like to demonstrate how fab we are!” Anne knew not to prattle on. Her public speaking voice was not a patch on Lorraine’s. Her London accent got in the way sometimes and she tried to disguise it with words like 'fab'. Anne and Lorraine went way back and this opportunity was always present, but never spoken out loud. Anne was impatient with a ruthless streak that she tried to hide along with her accent. She'd been plotting a takeover for the leadership position, but out of the blue Lorraine offered it up.
Grandstanding was not Anne’s plan. No, she had something different on her mind. Another secret that just became a bit easier thanks to Lorraine. "Oh, before we start. Just one thing. The members you see here today are our platinum members who run this weekly meeting. We have several levels of membership starting with ‘steel’. There will be time at the end to discuss the membership levels and benefits with our member manager: David, sitting to my right. Ok, over to you Joseph”
“Thanks Anne. Let’s begin” Joseph stood and fired those four words across the room in a style that said “I’m in charge now and this is what you came for”. He could have been a film star in a different life. He had honed his weekly performance down to emotional filled theatre that visibly generated ambitious and greed feelings among the guests. His Cardiff twang summarised all the connections, opportunities, referrals and sales made in the previous week by Netgain members. It was all delivered at a blistering speed with no stutters or stalls. Guests sat mesmerised by what a fairly ‘average’ week could be worth to them.
Most guests had mentally decided to join already. None of them knew the presentation was completely false.
Every number, connection and sale was made up in this weekly show to catch "fish in a barrel"...