If You Must Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Clever Lies

If you must tell me lies, tell me clever lies. Don’t be like some companies who behave badly and underestimate their customers.

I wonder how many businesses start off with good intentions in business? Perhaps they start off with high aims. Then the pressure to perform drags them into less transparent business practises. Then they start to behave like the less than perfect part of the marketplace. And before you know it they are behaving badly and not very cleverly.

I almost feel that those who start off with bad intentions are maybe more adept at telling clever lies.

The fact is that in business there are two pressure – a pressure to cut corners and behave badly – and a pressure to resist.

Take The Example Of An Email From An Energy Provider

What got me thinking about this was an email from an energy provider inviting customers to sign up to an insurance product. The email starts out with words of empathy, about how it understands that ‘caring for your home and managing your insurance‘ are important.

It goes on to say that because of this recognition of how important these things are, it has partnered with an insurance company who can offer the kind of protection customers need.

From the tone of the email, the customers should thank the energy company for laying it all out for them. Not only that, they should thank the energy company for making it easy to take advantage of the insurance product. They should thank the energy provider for making customers understand the reality.

So far so good, and the energy company even offers a discount for signing up. And it is all going swimmingly until the final sentence.

The final sentence reads “Remember, this discount on our Home Cover product is only available until 27th February. Get moving!

Why only to that date? If they truly have their customers’ best interests at heart, why put an end date on the offer?

Ah, now I see. It is not for the customers’ benefit that they are offering the insurance product. It is for their own benefit. They will profit from this and it is really no more than handily convenient and coincidental that the customers may also benefit from taking up the offer.

They are pushing the customers along using the selling technique of manufactured scarcity.

Of course, I am not naive, and I recognise that companies are in business. They are not in a fiduciary relationship with their customers. They are not like lawyers, doctors, or priests, who must benefit others even about their own preferred outcomes.

If You Must Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Clever Lies

But if you must tell me lies, tell me clever lies. Don’t go laying on your concern with a trowel and then warning me I am likely to miss out if I don’t get moving. It is all a bit too obvious. At least lie to me with a bit more skill, please.

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