How To Be Impressive Without Being Misleading

misleading car sale
A big part of marketing is impressing people with the products and services that you sell. It’s important to convey that your offerings are good and that people should spend money on them to improve their lives.

But there is a balance that you need to find. You need to convince potential customers, but you also have to be careful about misleading them into a purchase that isn’t what they expect. In this article we’ll take a look at how to impress potential customers without being misleading.

Be careful with what you say

Have you ever bought something that promised to double your income or that claimed it would clean anything? And did you truly bring in twice the money or get that ground-in grass stain out?

Probably not.

Even though it may have looked impressive, what you bought didn’t deliver on its promises, and the result is that it fell out of your favor.  Now you wouldn’t recommend it to others. You probably wouldn’t buy the same product or service again.

Misleading people to land a sale hurts business. It’s not worth it. It’s far more effective to promote what the product or service truly can do so that you can gain repeat sales and good testimonials.

It takes critical thinking

The message you deliver to your target market needs to be honest, and it needs to be impressive. It also needs to be relevant and get the right message across.

Don’t make claims that you won’t back-up with your product or service. Use critical thinking—find ways to make claims that are true, and that will resonate with all of your customers.

Showing respect for people’s intelligence and being honest about what you sell often leads to increased satisfaction and good referrals. It’s just a smarter way to go. Fool someone, and you just hurt your own business.

There are many ways to persuade people to purchase from you that don’t involve misleading them. No amount of trickery can give your small business a solid client base.

Here are some ways to impress without misleading

Understand your target market’s needs.

Your ideal customer wants what you offer for a specific reason. What is that reason? Is it to simplify? Is it to increase revenue? Is it to get the job done faster?

Back up your claims.

When you know what your perfect potential customer needs, take a look at what you sell. Does your product truly simplify? By how much? 1% isn’t enough, so don’t use that claim. Does it get the job done faster? By half an hour? Great. Push that angle instead.

Sell the benefits.

A benefit is what the customer achieves after the sale, not what he’s buying. Become intimate with your product or service and know exactly what happens once the customer brings it home or uses it. Increased productivity is a benefit. A gadget’s 1GB of RAM is just a feature that leads to that faster productivity.

Be completely honest.

Ethical businesses earn repeat clients and referrals. Dishonest ones that manipulate, trick and coerce people with pressure to purchase don’t. Look for long-term success and steady sales over fast bucks and no longevity. Earn your business a good, solid reputation.

Care about your customers.

People are tired of faceless businesses and impersonal service. Show that you’re real and that your potential client’s happiness matters a great deal to you. Often, people prefer to buy from businesses that offer personalized attention and that go the extra mile to make a client happy – even if the customer knows they can get a better product or service elsewhere.

Know what distinguishes you.

Become familiar with your competition. You’re surely not the only one selling what you do, so what makes you different from the rest? Is your product of higher quality? A lower price? Does it accomplish customer benefits faster? Or better? Find what makes you stand out from the rest and advertise that difference.

Give a little more.

Maybe there’s nothing at all that sets you apart from the competition. That’s fine – there are plenty of businesses who offer exactly the same thing. So give a little more to your client. Provide a small, thoughtful add-on service. Improve your customer care policy. Package an extra product into your main seller for added value.

Marketing doesn’t have to involve games and word manipulations. Go for the honest stance and set your business apart that way. Understand your customer’s needs, know your product or service very well, sell the benefits, be transparent, care a little more, distinguish yourself and go the distance.

Follow some of these ideas, and you’ll be well on your way to long-term success.

Reader Comments

Apr. 22. 2008 7:14 PM
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I think this article is really excellent advise. You do not need to have a marketing or business degree to market your business. You just need to let the world know your secret (which is how awesome your business really is).

Consider the reasons why you wanted to start your business. What you thought your business should do and be - most likely these reasons are the same as your business’ benefits.

These reasons may also keep you motivated in the constant struggle of small business success.


Apr. 23. 2008 6:19 AM
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Thanks!  Great post.  GREAT PHOTO
Just wanted to say that I teach business development classses and I am offering your blog as a reference.
If I had the time I would email this post to the present class tonight, but I think I will go to bed instead. :-) (11:20 pm)
Harmony.


Apr. 23. 2008 8:06 PM
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Harmony, that sounds wonderful. I’m sure there are many articles on here that will provide them with some value.

Let me know how it goes!

- Mason


Apr. 29. 2008 3:00 AM
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Love the photo!  I was thinking of this article when I was driving home today listening to ads by mortgage brokers on the radio: The same crooks who a year ago were hawking no-doc, no-verification, nothing down 1% loans are now parroting scripts about financial responsibility and the importance of doing your research before getting a loan.  I think that honesty and integrity do go a long way, and that they are the best foundation to build a sustainable business (and sleep well at night).  Thanks for the post, Mason.


May. 7. 2008 11:28 AM
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WOW!!! great ideas.. I have to bookmark this one. Thanks for taking the time out post this information…. Your the Best


Mar. 7. 2014 8:17 AM
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Mar. 17. 2014 8:22 AM
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It’s always good to give a little more than you have to, because that little extra does the difference in most of the situations


Mar. 24. 2014 10:54 AM
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Good tips! But the best advice is just “Be the best you can be and be honest about your work!”


Mar. 31. 2014 8:44 AM
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A customer’s worst fear nowadays is being scammed, or mislead by companies, and it’s a big thing to actually get your customer’s trust


Apr. 1. 2014 9:39 AM
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The moment someone finds out you were misleading your business is done! Be very careful!


Apr. 4. 2014 7:23 AM
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That’s right, if there’s one thing customers hate, it’s being deceived and lied to


Apr. 11. 2014 1:19 PM
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Being impressive has more to do with the “zazz”, “wow” or “bling” effect than anything else. You have to make an event out of your shop opening, sale or anything else and you have to show people you are dedicated and passionate about what you do, this will make them think you have less chances of being unethical


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