Selling On Promises: Why Transparency Matters To Us…

26th August, 2020Marketing, Selling

Life’s like a box of chocolates- you never know what you’re gonna get

– Forrest Gump

Am I that transparent? I want you, I need you- oh baby, oh baby

– 10 Things I Hate About You

Have you ever bought a discount flight and then paid more on top for all the unseen extras? Or been in the U.S, seen an item listed for a great price and then been stung when the local sales tax was stacked on top of that seductive sticker price?

Or maybe you’ve met somebody and while their words told you one thing, you could tell they weren’t being up-front with you. Just little giveaways (or ‘tells’) that revealed all. Recently I read a book, titled What Everybody Is Saying (Joe Navarro) and it delves into the minor details of how to read a person beyond the mere words they’re speaking to you.

Because you might ‘know’ a person doesn’t line up with how they’re trying to present themselves or that a particular offer sounds too good to be true, but when you think about it, what’s the real frustration?

The real frustration is that we’ve already got enough things to think about. Enough issues that require our ongoing attention and energy. Having to decipher what somebody’s real intentions are or what you’re really getting when you sign up means you have to devote more of your time (and energy) to being on-guard and minimising the chances of being stung.

If you ask me, life is too short! Call it simplistic, but whenever I pay for a service or a product, I want to know exactly what I’m getting- and it seems like I’m not the only one. Places like Dominos now allow you to see your pizza being prepared in the store before it’s delivered- so you know exactly what you’re going to see when you open that piping hot carton.

After all, when you know what you’re getting straight up then it’s easier to make a decision- yay or nay? At least if a service is expensive, we know it’s expensive from the start. If a process is complicated and time-consuming, then you sign up understanding it’s not a simple case of click your fingers and get the result.

I still remember the day I walked in and signed up for the Fight Like A Pro experience back in 2016 and Gavin talked about how over the coming 10 weeks there’d be times I’d feel like quitting, but that (ultimately) if I got to Fight Night it’d be one of the best things I’d ever done and I’d want to go back and do it again- like plenty of other guys who returned to train here at the gym…

Without giving too much away (because you should read the article for yourself), I was in the midst of a difficult year and I’m generally a persistent person. I figured wanting to give up was for men weaker in spirit than myself. I also assumed Gavin talking up Fight Night as being “one of the best things I’d ever done” was just his pitch.

Yet ultimately- he was correct on both counts. Not only did I return to the gym to train again, I stepped into the ring once more at the next Fight Night. It turned out that I got what I signed up for (and then some) even if I didn’t know it yet…

As human beings we’re attracted to certainty because it’s part of our survival mechanism. We want to know that water is wet, sand is gritty, sugar is sweet and that if we stand in the middle of the road then our day isn’t going to end well. Small elements of certainty like this make it easier (mentally and emotionally) to focus on longer-term decisions that are important to our survival.

If we do get the unexpected, we want it to be something good. Like the afternoon when, just a couple of weeks short of my 10th birthday and (intending to hit the street in the new billy-cart I’d built with my dad) I walked out into the living room to see both my parents sitting there with the Scalextric slot-car set I’d been wanting for ages. It was an early birthday present (truth is, my dad was keen to have a crack at it himself) and to date it remains arguably the best birthday present I ever received…

But back to what we expect as a customer-

Ideally, we want to know exactly what we’re getting and how much we’re going to pay for it, right? If it’s a product then we want to know the materials, the quality, the finish, the size, the weight, the features and the price. If it’s a service then we want to know what’s going to be done, how long it’s going to take, the results and (yet again) the price.

So when I was brainstorming what kind of guarantees to offer clients, making transparency one of those guarantees didn’t need a second thought. What it means is that before you pay the invoice (let alone receive the invoice) we’ve discussed the proposal with you. You know what service you’re getting, the timeframe it’s due to be completed in and how much it’s going to cost in total-

So if you’re thinking about getting sales or marketing copy written and you want the peace of mind that comes with certainty and knowing what to expect, then contact us


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