Lying in Marketing: Crossing the Line

Lying in Marketing, Austin Business ConsultingBusiness Consulting Question: Is It Worth Getting Sales if you Have To Lie?

I’ll make it easy:

Don’t lie!


Most Recent Example: Alignable

Many of you have seen the regular emails that you get from this company. It seems like they are trying to be another version of LinkedIn, but I have not seen it bear fruit.

That’s ok, nothing wrong with that. HERE’s what’s wrong: lying. I don’t know about you, but I get regular messaging promising something that doesn’t happen.

Like this one (received March 18, 2020, but NOT the first time this has happened):

“I just wanted to check in and make sure you know there are a bunch of businesses waiting to network and exchange referrals with you.”

What’s wrong with this email?

First, I’ve probably received 50 of these over the last couple of years. It’s been a lie every time. Worse, they used to send messages that implied that a specific person wanted to talk to me about a referral. I would go to the platform (a win for them, because they can show CTR, engagement, etc.. to investors), only to find out that the person indicated did not, in fact, want to talk to me about anything at all.

It was a lie.

Second, THIS EMAIL CAN’T BE REPLIED TO. When I hit reply, I get a returned email that says “your email hit an inbox that’s not monitored.” WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS??

The email implies that a person is individually talking to me, it’s addressed to me and says that there are benefits only for me. It’s all a lie.

Don’t do that. Lying in marketing is bad. Alignable lies in their marketing.

Next Example: JC Penney

Your sales and marketing messaging is critical, and when you lie in it, like JC Penny did in their “Sales”back in 2013, you lose trust.  This is an old school salesy trick, and it’s kind of shocking that they would try this in the Social Media Age. Sure enough, it bit them.

Trust, once lost, is very difficult to regain.


Well, take a look at your own thinking in regard to adverts for purchases. When you see that something is on sale, what is your first reaction?

When you see a promise in marketing (and especially if it seems a little too good to be true), what do you think?

I know what I think: they’re lying. This thought usually will trace back to a time I was lied to in some advert, coupon, etc… and I’ll link it to that bad feeling. This all happens without much conscious thought, and that’s why it’s so critical to get it right.

Trade In Your “Sales” for Good, Consistent Value

Are you jacking up your prices so that you can advertise a 2-for-1 special? Don’t do it. Not worth it.

If you do get a repeat customer from it, they are going to find out pretty quickly that your normal prices weren’t reflected in your “special”, so even if they stay, their trust level will go down.

Where Does This Fall In The Sales Process?

I talk a lot about the Sales Process, and step 2 is Rapport Building/Investigation.

In this step, you find out what motivates your prospect to purchase your products or services. In this process, you build value.

People understand value (and clear value propositions), and they will pay you to solve their problem. Learn to build value on your website, and you’re golden (assuming you have traffic).

By the time your prospects get to the purchase decision, they’ve already valued your service and are ready to pay fair market value for it.

Do the work; put in the hours; earn trust by sweat and building value, and you’ll always have a pile of customers.

Want a Free, No-Obligation Discovery Call to talk about your Sales Process? Contact Me!

Happy Marketing!

Sales and Seo, Value Proposition, Sales Process

2020-03-18T17:58:27-06:00 By |Sales Process|Comments Off on Lying in Marketing: Crossing the Line

About the Author:

I'm Kyle Bailey. I'm a sales consultant and SEO & Wordpress expert living in Austin, Tx and working with clients nationwide. I love helping clients, good Tex-Mex, and great music!