When you first start up in business, chances are you’ll do everything completely and utterly by the book. And rightly so – you’re likely to have invested a lot into your small business already and don’t want to see it all come crumbling down simply because you didn’t do something as you were supposed to.
However, the more time passes, the more you’ll realise some businesses seem to do things that fall into an area that’s a little ‘grey’.
I’m not saying they’re committing anything illegal, but we’ve all seen the signs where it appears a certain product is being advertised for a certain price, only to get closer and realize the advertised figure is actually the amount of money that’s being discounted off the product’s price.
In many ways, these signs are a little deceiving, but they’ve been proven to work as a sales and marketing tactic and so to some, it can mean it’s OK to be a little ‘clever’ every now and again. It’s what they believe makes the business world go round.
Generally speaking, however, I’d be tempted to disagree.
Today’s consumers have changed tremendously. No longer receptive to the hard sell approach, they tend to want a few things above all else – and one of them is clarity.
They don’t want an organisation to try and trick them into buying something or make something look much better than it actually is. They’d rather know the truth from the start and although it might mean the item isn’t as good as the organisation may want the customer to believe, more often than not today they’ll be satisfied because they know the truth.
It’s for this reason why it’s strongly advised honesty is always taken as the path for your growing small business. Everyone can take shortcuts and you’ll no doubt see some success if you do, but the only way you can guarantee your business’s on-going success is to be truthful and honest at all times.
Consumers want to feel as though the companies they’re spending their hard earned money with are respecting them and likewise, they want to respect the company themselves. Base your small business’s growth and development on not necessarily lies, but not the truth either and you’ll not only likely trip up at some point in time, but as soon as you do, you’ll find it almost impossible to be considered a respectable company within your industry.
By all means, use the sales and marketing techniques that have been proven to work, but always keep in mind that customer expectations and requirements are continually changing and today more than ever, honesty is going to be one of the qualities a customer respects most about a business.