Don't Lie To Me
I recently came across an article from Entrepreneur Magazine from Carol Roth called “Want My Business? Don’t Lie To Me.”
In business and in life, we often come across people who are willing to say just about anything to open a door, manipulate someone, or close a deal. I would be lying if I said this doesn’t throw me into the Pit of Despair from Princess Bride. Intellectually, I understand WHY it works sometimes but it just will not work for me.
Roth is speaking specifically about sales folks reaching out to her via email after seeing her at a conference. Some (many?) opened with flat out lies. Some half-truths (which, by the way = lies). And it’s curious why people risk that. I suppose 80% of the time, people don’t really recall who they did or did not meet at a conference or a party.
She provided 5 approaches one could use instead of lying. Rather than paraphrasing, I’ll encourage you to read the list directly from the article. The long short is - you don’t HAVE to lie. You can actually say something like “Hi Ann, I asked some colleagues if they knew anyone who might need my services and Will sent your name along” - assuming Will actually did send the name… Or “I found you in a LinkedIn group and wanted to chat.” I immediately delete messages that falsify why or how we are connected.
But it got me thinking of two recent anecdotes that relate to honesty and integrity in marketing.
The Exaggeration of Value
This holiday cross channel marketing season has EXHAUSTED me. And the biggest offender came from one of my favorite sports teams and it gave me a case of the sads.
Let me say this. I love the Celtics. I’m a hardcore Masshole, fan of all professional teams from my home state. I am one of their best potential customers. And this year, there was not a single Celtics gift under our tree.
Why? Because the onslaught was incessant. I received one form of communication or another from them every day starting in early November - with a lot of LAST CALL and THIS IS IT subject lines and imagery. Not a lot of really great offers - though to be fair I stopped opening them at all eventually and forever deleted a lot of the messages - I can’t even see if there’s a real offer in there anymore. Just over and over. DO NOT MISS THIS.
Reader, I missed them all. I got tired of their clear lack of intelligence about who I am as a customer.
EMC7 - when the EM Stands for Ethical Marketing
I had a meeting recently with someone who said (rather genuinely) that they appreciated my candor. Now, that’s really positive for me to hear because as I may have mentioned, honesty and integrity seem to be slipping away in the world.
So I am thankful when I see it - and even more thankful when someone recognizes and acknowledges it.
Prior to founding EMC7, I have been reprimanded for doing things like telling potential clients that they would be better served with a different approach (even if it is one we could or did not provide).
Looking ahead to 2019, I am so thankful I have been able to build a solid foundation for EMC7, one where ethical marketing is at the center of our culture.