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Manipulative Marketing Corner: "Everything Must Go"

Manipulative Marketing Corner: "Everything Must Go"

June 23, 2009

Creative or Deceptive? You decide.

The desire to increase sales often leads us into some very gray areas where there doesn't always seem to be a clear right or wrong answer. I tackle a dilemma each month and then I want to hear what you would do. Send your comments to me at JonGoldman@YourBusinessGPS.com. Then, next month I will give you my take on whether it was creative or deceptive.

This month's dilemma ...

'Everything must go!'

Remember the movie comedy, 'You Don't Mess with The Zohan'? In it, there's an electronics store called Going Out of Business. It seemed to work well for that store and it seems as if it's working well in real-life too because I'm seeing more and more 'liquidation sales' that seem to drag on forever.

One avenue I regularly drive down has a store with a large liquidation tent outside with an EVERYTHING MUST GO! sign that's been there for months. I get the sneaking suspicion several of the signs around town are just ploys to make shoppers think they are getting a really great deal and the business owners have no intention of closing down or liquidating their inventory.

EXAMPLE: There was a rug store in Atlanta recently that offered a six-month-long going-out-of-business sale before finally shutting its doors. But during the sale, the store actually increased its inventory during a 'total liquidation closeout.' Many states have laws against this type of practice, but they're not easy to enforce these days.

So what do you think? Are 'everything must go' sales and 'liquidation sales' legitimate promotions? Or, do you think customers end up paying higher prices for merchandise that they believe has been greatly discounted?

Send your comments to me directly at JonGoldman@YourBusinessGPS.com.

Previous dilemma '

Sorry, due to a 'glitch' in our system we are sending you this promotion again and again ...

How many times have you received promotional emails sent multiple times because the sender claims there was a 'technical problem' with the original delivery? I've received plenty.

EXAMPLE: **It has come to my attention that there were technical problems with the delivery of this important message. I want to make sure you get it, so I'm sending it again.**

Of course, the sender also wanted to make sure I received the email because before a deadline was about to expire later that same day.


My response: Deceptive.
It's obvious in this example that the resend is a lie and just an excuse to send it out again to boost response. Don't ever lie to your prospects or customers.

In fact, I don't know many honest business owners who would want to admit that their company isn't capable of something as simple as sending out an email.

Your goal is always to build a relationship with your prospects and customers and the only way to do that is to build trust. You'll never do that if you're lying to them -- even if it's just one time. There are other more creative ways to boost response that I talk about every month in the pages of this newsletter. Try those instead! But never resort to lying.