Don’t Take Business Advice From “Nice” People

The following article on Inc. actually has a lot of truth in it and all business owners and entrepreneurs should think about what Kevin Daum, author of the article I excerpt below, has to say here. He points out that when it comes down to the numbers, it is going to hurt you more in the long run if people are not brutally honest about your business, your ideas, your services or if they even want to buy from you. We all tend to want to just tell the person “good job, keep up the good work”, but what if that’s not the case? Do we tell them? Do we stay silent? Or can we actually, professionally, tell them the harsh truth?I’m not silent in this regard when I am sitting with a client in consultation for website or internet marketing. If their current website doesn’t cut it, I tell them. Sometimes it’s no fun to hear, and it’s not really fun to say either, but if it’s the truth, then it needs to be said. I tell them professionally and “nicely”, but I am honest. And then I tell them why. “The website you currently have just doesn’t cut it. It’s visuals don’t speak your message, it has no call to actions to drive your visitors, no lead capture and this Flash banner will not display on i-devices.” and many times they will even hear me say, “I would suggest you remove your website for the time being and perhaps install a landing page if you are not going to upgrade this website. You are hurting your brand and your business with this website.”

I don’t always get a good response… and sometimes I never hear from the client again. But most times I get a thank you and we start working on how to create a real web solution for them that communicates trust and relevance to the user; a website that has easy to identify call to actions, a conversion plan and of course works on all i-devices. While I do believe there is a “nice” way to deliver constructive criticism, I do believe it has to be given in no uncertain terms. That’s why we are the professionals, right?Just yesterday I took a member of a leads group aside and “nicely” pointed out to him that his business card, while professional, lacked any kind of defining information as to what he actually did. I pointed out that he had his own name, his business name, his title, phone number, email, and website… but no where did it actually say what he did. He thanked me and assured me he would rectify that with his next batch of cards. I was nice about it… but I was honest about it. His business card wasn’t working and I’m in marketing. If I spend my time being afraid to be honest with people, how can I sell myself as an expert?

Go ahead and read the following Article from Inc and tell me which you are; brutally honest or “nice.” Article Snippet From Inc:They either lie and say something “supportive” when you bring them your hideous, doomed-to-fail idea, or worse they exhibit what I call Quiet-Politeness and simply say nothing. Most likely they’re not vested enough in your success to engage in conflict with you over your passion. These nice people are not doing you any favors. In fact they are sabotaging you in three ways…Read it on Inc.

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