We were trying to book
a restaurant table for a Velocity trip a while back. Usual thing: sent out emails to the places that looked good. Listed all our requirements. (Separate room. Drinks ﬁrst. Some vegetarians.)
One woman’s reply stood out.
Not because she sold hard but because she seemed to be trying to un-sell us. A few of the restaurants ignored our email. (I know: WTF?) A few replied.
She said she didn’t have
a separate room but could screen off a section of the main restaurant. She included a photo to show what she meant.
She said they did have
vegetarian dishes but they were a ﬁsh restaurant and didn’t want to pretend to be otherwise. And attached a sample menu.
As we corresponded with the
woman, this pattern repeated itself over and over again. She kept telling us what we might not like about her restaurant and what she could do about it.
…and had a fantastic evening
from the very ﬁrst minute to the last. And not a penny more than they quoted (despite our frankly excessive drinking). Great, warm welcome. Bubbly on arrival. Fantastic food. Friendly, attentive service.
They hide them. They wheel
out the smoke and mirrors. They lie, deny and vilify anyone who draws attention to the shortcomings. Most marketers treat their negative features like weeping sores on a blind date.
That’s just how sales and
marketing works, right? It’s called ‘putting your best foot forward’. They pretend the weaknesses don’t matter (when, to some customers, they might matter quite a bit).
And for every one of
these, there will be dozens or hundreds or thousands of prospects who appreciate your honesty, don’t care about the downside and trust you far more because you had the balls to be truthful in public.
Want to see Insane Honesty
in action? Read this admittedly geeky blog post. (With examples of classic ad campaigns and some cool newer cases.)
Velocity is a B2B content
marketing agency. We’re not for the timid, the weak or the hide-bound. We can be annoying by sticking to our guns when other agencies might have surrendered.
Sometimes we disappear en masse
to places like Rome (clients who want 24x7x365 service may not like that). And we’re big on getting our clients to take a stand. (Brands with stronger legal teams than marketing teams may ﬁnd us frustrating.)