A Savvy Buying Public Expects More Than Honesty
Consumers these days are very smart. They are hypersensitive to marketing gimmicks and paranoid about being conned with slick advertisements. This generation grew up with television and the commercial advertisements that literally ruled the marketplace and human behavior. In doing so, they became inoculated to many of the psychological triggers that were a bit underhanded, but powerful non-the-less.
They also can spot a con a mile away, so that you have to be extra careful to be as honest and forthright as possible. The payback though is that if you are squeaky clean honest, not just with the good features of your products but the bad ones too, people will tend to value your opinions as a marketer more. You will trigger a deep psychological appreciation of your honest behavior in a sea of dishonest merchandisers. That’s why honesty has to be one of the top psychological triggers to implement when you are doing any type of marketing, online or otherwise.
Honesty is similar to authenticity, except it is a tad more straight forward. You can be authentic about who you are and still misrepresent the products you sell based on your spotless image of personal integrity. Honesty, in this case, is to be truthful – plain and simple. We aren’t talking about the truth that you would like to believe, it is about the truth of what the consumer would like to hear. For that, you need to have their best interest at heart, and that’s the role of honesty in your life. You have to take into account that even though selling is about making money, if you sell something that ultimately dupes the consumer in any way, it will come back to bite you in the butt in the end. It may take a while, but it will come back eventually. In today’s social networking climate, the payback may be sooner than you think.
Social networking sites are great sites to establish a presence and start cultivating a bigger contact list. You build a circle of friends that trust you and will listen to your status updates and newsfeeds. You develop more connections in groups. All these interactions need to have a degree of authenticity and honesty. When you post a link back to your site, you want to be sure it leads to an honest way of doing business. Otherwise, the first person on the network that gets scammed will send out a general message to all their friends to avoid you, and then those friends will turn around and do the same. Once your reputation as an honest person is lost on a social networking site, most of your marketing opportunities are gone too. This is particularly true if you seek to increase the number of friends in your list solely to market them.
There are instances when people send messages or post updates that are viewable by all their friends that certain people are “spammers” and not to accept them as friends. That’s all it takes to get you silently blacklisted even if your account remains current with the host site. So, always seek to add value and bring an honest level of interaction to social networking sites in particular.
When you recommend a product, your product or someone else’s, be sure they understand the relationship you have with the vendor, what you think of it in detail, and let them know if you are an expert or not. If the product has faults, don’t shove them under the rug. It’s more than likely the consumers will pick up on those faults as objections and if you leave them unaddressed you’ve lost the sale. So, always address the faults and either reframe them or make them insignificant. If the fault is major, just don’t sell that product. The choice is yours.