The Fastest Way To Lose A Client: Inaccurate Marketing

Feb 19, 2015, Written by Sue Miley

marketingI had Haley, our wonderful marketing assistant,  pick up a spicy tuna roll for me today when she went to Fresh Market.

As I was standing up in the hall eating it (yes we can take lunch breaks), I realized it wasn’t spicy.

The first thing I did was look at the front of the package to see if it said spicy, which it did.

It didn’t taste bad at all…it just wasn’t what I expected.  It wasn’t what I thought I was purchasing.  So, I was disappointed.

As a business owner, it made me think about how important it is that we market our business accurately.  We may get people to buy something by glamorizing our product description, but if the product doesn’t match, we will have disappointed customers.

You Don’t Have To Be Lying on Purpose

I am not assuming that people are misrepresenting their product or service on purpose.  I assume that most Christians in business are ethical and never purposely misleading a prospective buyer.

I am sure the sushi guys were not purposefully leaving out the spicy sauce to save money but leaving the label because spicy is more popular.  It was an honest mistake.

It just made me recognize how important it is to be accurate when describing our products and services.

Is it really a workbook you are selling or is it just a couple of questions at the end of each chapter?

Is it really a business assessment or is it basic training about business fundamentals?

Is it really a free class or some good content that is really telling why a person should buy your service or product?

People Feel Cheated

About eight years ago, I was really exploring the whole online marketing world.  I had put up a free WordPress site and was just starting to blog.  I found some guru on twitter and in clicking through his site, he was selling a full website assessment and social media plan for a small business.

It was only $500 but to me that was a lot for my start-up business.

His idea of the assessment was to run a free Hubspot Website Grader and then tell me what I needed to change.   I know this because I asked for a copy of the assessment and that is what he sent me.

He then proceeded to walk me through a power point slide that introduced me to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

I told him I already knew about them and had profiles.  If he could tell me if I was doing something ineffective on them, that would be great.  But to just tell me about Twitter and FB – I was way past that.

He then proceeded to tell me how many people had found this information invaluable.

That was a bunch of hogwash to me.

  1. I did not sign up for a social media intro class.
  2. I could have gone to Hubspot for free and run the assessment.
  3. He didn’t have any specific suggestions from his expertise for my site or online marketing.

I actually don’t even remember his name anymore.  I wonder if he is still in business.

It Might Be Great For Someone, But It Wasn’t What I Thought I Was Buying

It really might have been good information for someone, but it didn’t match what he said I would get.  And by the way, I found him on Twitter, so I know what Twitter is!

I believe that he may have had some happy clients, but he definitely needed to be more specific about what he was selling.

If Your Service Is Hard To Explain

Some of you may not have easy services to explain.  My business, business coaching, can take on different meanings for different people.  There is a wide array of business coaching services and methods of delivering them.

I usually have to talk to a prospect to make sure I understand what they need and to make sure they understand what we deliver.  I also write about it.  I have blogged about our coaching services many times, most recently this week in the post: What You Can Expect From Coaches and Consultants.  A long time ago I wrote the post My Ideal Christian Business Coach and then I tried to be it!

It isn’t easy….but it is really important.

It is important to make sure your services or products match what you say you are selling….if not, you will have confused, if not dissatisfied, customers.

I guess I can look on the bright side….it would have been much worse if I just wanted a plain Tuna Roll and it turned out to be a super spicy one!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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