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Consumers Spill: White Lies They Tell Businesses/Business Owners All the Time

December 9th, 2007 · 2 Comments · Copywriting, Customers/Clients, Marketing

Whitelie ~ I really care about you or business’ success.

~ You looked so good in your TV commercial.  You should never pay for professional talent.

~ I don’t know how much I have to spend.

~ I behave just like everyone else in my demographic.

~ I don’t mind waiting for you to finish your personal conversation before acknowledging me.

~ It’s okay to ignore me if you don’t know the answer.

~ Let me get right back to you on that.  Thanks so much for the cold call.

~ No, no….everything is fine.  We’ll be back soon.

Of course, the consumers don’t utter these words.  They just behave politely and sales people and business owners make erroneous assumptions every day, based on those behaviors.

Which of these lies are you choosing to believe?

Note:  This post was instigated by Brian Clark of Copyblogger fame. He wrote a post claiming that you can always get blog post inspiration from the cover of Cosmo magazine and challenged his readers to give it a try.  Hat tip to my friend Director Tom for reminding me to take part.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Lewis Green

    Here’s my favorite: A client for whom I was hired to build his personal brand also hired me to edit his book. Before doing so, I exclaimed the adversarial relationship that often forms between an editor and a writer, because the editor’s job is to fix syntax, cut copy to make it lean, ask the writer to update research, and make other suggestions to enhance the writing. Writers who haven’t been through the process many, many times, don’t want to hear that their writing isn’t the greatest thing since the big bang. I know. I’ve been on both sides of the pen. Thus, the love/hate relationship.

    So here’s the lie: “Okay, I got your edits but I need you to listen carefully. You’ve cut lots of copy. What do I need to do now?” (This question after explaining a half dozen times that the final decisions always rest with the writer.)

    My response: It’s up to you. Employ the recommendations you like and ignore the rest.

    His comeback: “But you aren’t listening.” And finally “I have to run as an emergency just came up.” I never heard from him again, nor would he respond to my e-mails or voice mails.

    What he was really saying: “I hear you but I don’t like what you are saying, and I want you to tell me the copy is perfect just like it is.” In other words, give me permission to make no changes because you, the editor, is wrong, and I, the writer, am right. Which of course, no editor would or could do because at the end of the day, the editor has one job, the writer another.

    Result: He stiffed me for 50 percent of the editing fee. Some lies hurt!

  • Drew McLellan

    Lewis,

    Boy, do I feel that pain. It’s almost impossible to gauge how well a potential client will take feedback and push back.

    We have resigned more than one account because I guessed wrong!

    Drew

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