Start how you mean to continue

Like many people, I really don’t want to bother talking to telemarketers. And since almost no one I actually want to talk to calls my house phone, I leave that line to the answering machine.

(And you can have my caller ID service when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. Well, if one could actually “hold” an electronic service. But I digress…)

On a regular basis, I get a message from what’s obviously a recorded spiel that starts with something like, “Hi, this is Brenda. We spoke last week about your eligibility to refinance your home…”

I couldn’t tell you the company name or names, because I always hit delete before the message gets that far. Though I suppose one of these days I should catch the name, so I can make sure I never accidentally enter into business with them.

Aside from the usual telemarketing gripes, I have a big problem with this approach. This company is seeking to start off a relationship with me with a blatant lie.

I didn’t speak to Brenda, or anyone else, last week about refinancing my house. I haven’t talked to anyone about refinancing my house in over a year, when I did do so. And I know exactly what company I talked to then.

Since I keep getting these messages, I assume they work on someone. I just can’t imagine why.

Why would you trust a company with your sensitive financial data and potentially the title to your home when they’re perfectly happy to introduce themselves to you with a lie?

I’m no telemarketer, but I think there’s still an important lesson here for anyone in marketing or communications. Be as honest and truthful as you can be with your audience right from the get-go. Because the person you’re reaching out to has no reason to believe you’re going to be trustworthy in future dealings if you don’t start that way.

-SMJ

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