For an updated version of this post, click here.
Too often, I’ve hear from people who have spent thousands of dollars on a business training, program, or coaching, that was sold to them with hype or scarcity tactics… where the actual experience of the product didn’t match the big promises that were made in the sales process.
Have you experienced this too?
Did you tell the seller?
Good companies will listen to you, appreciate your suggestions, and make positive changes that will make a real difference to future customers, and may also compensate you in some way. Especially smaller companies or solopreneurs: you’ll be one of few who actually care enough to tell them.
Unfortunately, in my industry of business/marketing trainings and coaching, there is a lot of hype in marketing and manipulation in the sales process.
It’s important for you (the buyer) to tell us (the seller) what didn’t align between our marketing/sales and your actual product experience.
- How did you feel in the sales process? Pressured? Delighted?
- Was the marketing accurate to the product you received?
- Were the testimonials different from your own experience of using the product/service? (We sellers too often use rare-experience testimonials rather than talk about the typical-experience of the buyer.)
- Were there promises made on the sales page, that weren’t fulfilled in the product/service? If you don’t tell us, we’ll keep doing it! Please let us know.
If we don’t respond back to you with appreciation and willingness to listen, then call us out publicly on social media. You don’t have to name us in your posting, but definitely name the practices that didn’t feel honest to you.
It’s not OK to lie and manipulate in marketing and sales. Let’s each do our part to eliminate hype and manipulation, by sending a private note to the companies/people we buy from, as well as publicly talking about the practices that sellers should avoid.
You’re doing a service for your network, and for the future buyers.
What about your own industry?
Have you noticed marketing or business practices that are out of integrity?
Talk about those practices publicly (while keeping names private) so that your clients and potential clients can be aware of what to look out for.
You’ll also notice that doing this very thing — naming bad practices in your industry — will likely have a very positive effect on growing your audience.
I’ve seen this to be true in my own business as well as my clients’.
You’ve seen me talk about these things:
- No more traffic-and-conversion funnels
- No more manipulative free webinars
- No more lead magnets — back to email newsletters
- No more expensive, large-group business programs
People resonate with such postings because they (you) have experienced the manipulative tactics, and they begin to think that it’s “normal” until someone explains the bad practices and offers a better solution.
I’m sure there are practices that you can call out in your own industry, that your clients and other consumers of the industry should be aware of.
- What’s manipulative or dishonest in your industry?
- What techniques are being taught/sold that are ineffective?
- What results are being touted, but are actually hype and unrealistic?
- What is a truer way for consumers to experience good results in your field?
Talk about these things on social media. Keep the actual names of companies/leaders confidential, but be as detailed as you can to describe the actions they’re taking, that are dishonest or detrimental to your industry.
And be sure to offer a better alternative (don’t just complain, offer a solution) and do your best to model that alternative. People will be very grateful to have found you, and will send your content onto their friends.