Ring ring ring
Me: "Hi this is Ted. How can I help you?"
Them: "I'm calling from Google to verify your Google business listing. Can you confirm your business address, business phone number, and your business email address?"
Me: "Are you really from Google?"
Them: "Well no but we provide Google-related services"
Me: "Why did you start the call by lying to me?"
Should you start a business relationship with a lie?
In the past, I would say absolutely not.
Today, I'm not sure.
Lying seems like the norm these days which troubles me.
A few years ago, I was at the Traffic and Conversion Summit in San Diego.
The VP of Sales from Digital Marketer was showing how he uses LinkedIn to prospect.
He pulled up a LinkedIn profile of a marketing executive who fit his ideal client profile.
"Let's scan his profile and find something interesting we have in common I can use to invite him to connect."
"I see he went to Harvard so let's use that"
He crafted an invitation to connect that went something like this:
"I see we both went to Harvard. I'm really impressed by your success. Let's connect."
He went on to say he didn't go to school at Harvard, but he had driven through the campus when he was five years old.
The crowd of 500+ roared with laughter.
My jaw dropped.
When the Q&A session started, I had to jump in line.
I asked him if he thought it was okay to lie about going to Harvard.
"It was all in fun so I'm okay with it."
I walked away shaking my head.
If a business relationship starts with a lie, where does it go from there?
Maybe that marketing agency that called about my Google listing was a legit firm and really could help me generate more business from my listing.
What if they started the call like this: "Hi, I'm calling from XYZ agency, and we help consultants like you generate more business from your Google listing."
Of course, I want to generate more business and I would be very interested if I can do it using my free Google listing.
But I caught them with their hand in the cookie jar.
Lie to me and you're dead to me.
Now it's true Seth Godin wrote a best-selling book called All Marketers are Liars.
Marketers are infamous for stretching the truth.
Where do you draw the line?
When I stretch the truth, I always see my mother giving me "the look" when she caught me lying.
I error on the side of caution.
I never promise I can double your income in 30 days.
I don't promise 20-30 qualified leads every week.
Marketing is hard and results vary.
There are a million moving pieces, many of which are out of our control.
I tell it like it is, and I will always be upfront with you.