Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Marketing Tidbit: Sales Etiquette #2 (Save the Sob Story For Someone Who Cares)

This drawing is very cute,
 but actually begging for sales,
not so much.
drawing by Lanika on DeviantArt
More from the Miss Krissi's Manners For Small Business Owners Guide on running sales.  Do NOT beg.  

Charity drives aside, people don't want to hear about your financial difficulties.  If you can't pay the rent and need to run a sale, call it something else.  Anything else, really.  Just do a Google search for whatever silly "National Holiday" is coming up and use that, but begging for rent money is just tacky.  Not only is it unprofessional looking, but it can lose you customers and friends pretty darned quickly.  I've hit many an "unlike" button after a few panhandling posts.

People who can't afford vacations aren't going to throw
their hard-earned money around just so you can take one. 

Likewise, don't EVER do this: "My kid threw my Blackberry in the toilet, help me get a new one - coupon code is POOPY2011 for 25% off everything."  First of all, there are people out there who are struggling to feed their kids, so your loss of a smartphone, even though you use it to run your business, isn't going to make them shed a single tear.  Plus, the only people who are going to find this sort of thing cute are probably other mommies who have also lost their technology to the toddler/crapper, so they aren't going to have cash to buy a new one for you too.  Me?  I go right for the 'unlike' button.

Remember, your business is only around because there are people who want the items you are selling.  Your customers do not exist to support your bank account, so don't treat them that way.  Entitlement is ugly.

Read all Marketing Tidbits.


  1. Omg, thank you. There is a seller in my news feed who does this on a monthly basis.... :/

  2. It's unbelievably annoying, isn't it? I know several incredible artists and shops who have been "unliked" on facebook just because they beg when they have sales. I've actually dissociated myself from a few shops who do this too - it's just too embarrassing to be associated with unprofessional stuff like this.

  3. I love these tips, so I hope you keep them coming!

  4. Very good point for sellers to's business not personal, so make it a fun sale. I love this post Krissi!

  5. April, YES!!! I will keep them coming! They will eventually taper off a bit, but I'll try to post at least one to three a week! <3 I'm glad everyone is responding to these so well!

  6. I have to admit, I did release a coupon so I could pay my electricity bill once! *hides*

    I felt like such a dirty beggar doing it though, and definitely won't be doing it again!

  7. RTZ, it's totally OK to create a coupon to pay your electricity bill. As a matter of fact, it's much more desirable than trying to run a business without electricity! Just call it a 'National Tea and Biscuit' day coupon or something (I was going to say 'corndog,' but it just seemed too American for our friends across the pond!). You know, just make something up.

  8. Grateful that you are my wise headmiztress! I love how you put into words what I couldn't exactly put my finger on. Keep the smartnuggets coming!

  9. I had a birthday sale so I could take my daughter to the zoo. I just said it was so everyone could celebrate my birthday but after we had enough I did mention that we were going to the zoo.

    Really people who have the need to pay this and that sale just cheapen their items because I see most of them do it every month and then wonder why no one buys anything regular price.