Today’s rant about truthfulness comes from our Agency Principal, Valerie. She hopped up on her soapbox and let it rip!
Personally and professionally, the idea of providing credible, factual, unfiltered information to consumers to help them make purchasing decisions is a core value. I personally hate feeling someone is trying to “sell” something to me… or that someone is diligently following the sales steps some misguided manager has instructed them to follow – with promises of “closing the deal.”
I have, on probably too many occasions, shared my dislike of such techniques with the salesperson, explaining to them I just want information, the facts about the product or service… only to discover they have no idea how to answer my questions since I am not responding to the sales formula they are following. I am sure I have been labeled a rogue customer in more than one situation.
However, I don’t think wanting truthful information should be viewed as rogue. No product or service is perfect. I know that and think most consumers do as well. I want to weigh the pros and cons myself and make the decision for what is best for me. Is that too much to ask?
As someone who has been in the marketing and public relations world for 30 years, I always advise clients to be truthful. First, a business may need to take a look at the product or service and get their house in order… so “the truth” is something people actually want to buy or use. Yes, tell it in a creative, memorable way. Absolutely. Cut through the clutter and deliver a message that will move the target audience to action. Use all of the tools appropriate for your organization, your budget, and your audience. Check. Check. Check. But, start with factual information. Provide factual information. End with factual information.
It is my firm belief that all great relationships including clients, B2B, consumers and businesses, colleagues, co-workers and personal relationships are all built on the foundation of truth. It’s time for marketers to embrace this principle and forgo techniques intended to sell at any cost.