Yesterday I was working in my home office when a heard a knock at the door. I followed our Basset Hound up the stairs trying to remember what I had ordered. That’s usually the only time someone knocks on our door in the middle of the day. “It couldn’t be a door to door salesperson” I though to myself. People don’t do that anymore.
I was wrong.
As I opened the door, the young lady on the other side immediately assured me she wasn’t there to sell me a bunch of stuff I didn’t want or need. (In retrospect that was probably her first lie.) She continued by explaining how some of my neighbors “have been complaining about the high cost of cable TV in our area. So, she was just out in the neighborhood today trying to help out, and by the way, could she ask me a few questions?”
What a saint! Here she was taking her time to help our the poor folks in my neighborhood. Surely, we are blessed with good fortune!
Since her first two questions were about satellite TV I quickly surmised she was not there out of the goodness of her heart. I gave her juts enough rope to hang herself and then I bid her adieu. Clearly she was selling satellite TV contracts and just as clearly I was not buying.
It’s bad enough she interrupts me when I’m working. If I wanted satellite TV, then by gosh I’d have it by now. I’m entirely capable of making that decision and acting on it all by myself.
It’s even worse that she lied to me.
Did she really think I’d believe my neighbors had banded together and called her company to come save them from the big bad cable company? Did she really believe I’d buy the notion that she was out here just “trying to help”?
Give me a break!
What amazes me is how smooth and naturally she told her lies. She said it like it was the honest to goodness truth. What’s more amazing is that she believed it was okay to lie to someone as a sales tactic. And what amazes me even more is that her company is training people to use this tactic on people.
So, while the marketing world has changed for some of us, for many it remains the same. To get more customers, do whatever you have to do, including lying to them. That seems to be the marketing mantra of companies like these.
And it’s wrong.
It’s wrong for the obvious reason, because its lying.
It’s also wrong because it’s the opposite of how good marketing works. When you adopt a tactic that says “use dishonesty to get a potential customer talking” you’ve demonstrated that you’re only thinking of your goals. You’re focused on what you want to accomplish. You’re paying attention to your needs.
The problem is, your customer (or potential customer) doesn’t give a whit about what you want. They care about what they want.