Are You Misleading People?
If you provide information to someone that is inaccurate because you misspoke or were mistaken, I don’t think anyone would fault you for that. We’re all human and who among us hasn’t erred?
However, what if in effort to grab someone’s attention you intentionally post false information? Is that creative marketing or is that a lame excuse for keyword spamming? Make no mistake – that is an unethical business practice no matter how much you try to justify it.
For example, Scentsy recently announced that they’re making plans to open their business opportunity to residents of Germany and the UK. Launch is scheduled this Spring. U.S. residents will not be able to sell there but recruiting will be permitted. There hasn’t been much more information provided at this point because it’s still in the development stage. It is something that will most likely happen soon; but it has not happened yet.
I popped online yesterday to a public forum to read the following subject line from someone who held a senior ranking title: “We sell Scentsy candles in the U.K & Germany.” Seems innocuous enough. Except that Scentsy doesn’t sell there. They are planning to, but they don’t presently. When the fact that her subject line was misleading was raised, the consultant responded, “Yup, I know.”
This article isn’t a passive aggressive attack on said consultant. It was just such a perfect, and timely, example of misleading marketing for personal gain. I could not have made up a better example. It’s also not directed toward this one particular offender; it doesn’t matter who did it. I’ve seen others employ this type of keyword spamming too.
Before I continue, it’s also important to mention that rather than consider this or any of my other articles as a negative, I look at them as positive opportunities for improvement. Real life examples are a great tool to illustrate best practices as well as identify areas to advance. I would never mention names and have no interest in embarrassing anyone.
Someone once told me she never brings up anything negative. I get the theory behind that, but that’s not reality and it’s not being authentic. Rather, that’s looking at life through rose colored glasses. Highlighting opportunities isn’t dwelling on negativity as long as solutions and alternatives are provided.
Back to the example of “Scentsy sells in Germany“ – It’s always interesting to watch the jockeying for positioning when a new country opens. It’s just smart business to start to lay groundwork to recruit in these areas once all legalities have been worked out and there is a green light. Dropping teasers or “˜coming soon’ headlines are fine. Just don’t fabricate or over embellish. Rather than employing effective and smart business tactics, some consultants come out looking like ambulance chasers.
I’m all for free enterprise and competition and all that jazz. In order to be successful in business you can’t sit by idly and just wait for sales and recruits to come to you. Competition is keen; but inaccurate flashy headlines only hurt your credibility and isn’t a recommended business practice. Evolutionist Herbert Spencer said it best, “How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.”
If you represent a great product and solid company, you won’t need to mislead anyone. Honestly is always the best policy.
Here’s to your ethical success!
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping others start and maintain a candle business in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and soon Deutschland and the UK. You can find Laurie at http://la.Scentsy.us or http://www.ThrivingCandleBusiness.com