I’m not kidding. There’s still a group of people out there who believe using shady tactics is the way to gain and keep customers. They’re right, as long as you don’t care about satisfied customers and the amount of eye rolling that accompanies your name and any conversation of ethics.
We recently requested a new sales rep from a vendor. Dealing with the one currently assigned to our little group is like chewing on broken glass. The Vice President of Sales of the company informed us we could switch if WE wanted to have the uncomfortable conversation with the rep. Seriously? Thanks, but we’ve decided to do business with another company altogether.
In a similar situation, a client is dealing with a web developer who took advantage of their lack of technical knowledge by registering the client’s domain name under his name. Now my client wants to take their business elsewhere, but they’ll have to register a new domain, change printed materials, etc.
Both of these situations are examples of what I call Bully or Hostage Marketing.
The happiest customers are those who have a choice, and choose to do business with you. They often become great ambassadors for your business, referring others to you and spending more because they love what you do for them.
Nobody wants to lose a customer, but how much is an unhappy “hostage” customer worth versus an enthusiastic volunteer customer? The difference is priceless.