Use an honest marketing system

Stop using “sales tricks”. The words you use matter.

I recently blasted a recruiter of a financial services firm for using an email template that started with a statement that simply was not true.  I pointed out how received the same false email generated from exactly the same sales template from several other firms that week and how this generated a poor first impression of her and her firm. I know it wasn’t her fault. She was more or less a recruiting rookie and the marketing system is designed by others in her firm. These untrue statements are built into the email sales systems of many major marketing systems. Yet it would clearly be far better to to write your own email template rather than use one “out of the box” of a marketing system that was not true.

You’ve probably received email sales messages that start like this: “I’ve tried to reach you a few times to go over …”. I pointed out that this was the first time she tried to contact me, period. She had never made any attempt by email, telephone or any other method. So this is simply an untrue statement that triggers my negative response.

Firms like Hubspot have been advocating this tactic for years. Hubspot calls it a “sales trick”. I call it ‘lies that leave a bad impression’. Recently Hubspot reversed its position and put out advice to stop this practice. I don’t see why it took so long and I am even more disturbed why Hubspot and other marketing people thought it was OK to start a business relationship with a statement they knew to be untrue.

I am further disturbed by the state reason for abandoning this sales trick. Hubspot doesn’t say “stop using it because it is deceitful and undermines your integrity”. Instead they say stop using it because so many other forms do it that the trick is no longer effective. Maybe I’m too sensitive but this blatant touting of a lack of business ethics and understanding of the impact on integrity disturbs me.

Why is it so hard to tell the truth? What’s wrong with writing “I’m contacting you because I would like to make an introduction…”

The words we use do matter. While I am not usually on the front line of a business client’s marketing efforts, I do think that this type of input at the advisor or board member level is important and helpful to avoid blunders that undermine brand value. I am happy to discuss the issue with you further and offer outside comment.

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