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Value Creation Blog

If It Works Does It Make It Right?

Posted by Josh Patrick

pop upsI have a private war going on.  It’s aimed at pop-ups in websites that ask you to do something.  It’s a private war and one I’m pretty sure I won’t be winning.  I find pop-ups obnoxious and have had some interesting experiences with owners of those sites.

A personal story.

Every Sunday I take a look at the list of blogs that I follow.  The ones I like I tend to re-tweet.  They never have anything to do with the securities business.  They do have a lot to do with either making your business or life better.

Sometimes I run across a blog post with a pop-up.  Instead of reposting the blog post, I poke the author with a tweet saying I don’t curate and push blog posts that have pop-up’s in them.  It’s part of the strategy I use in my private pop-up war.

This particular time the person I poked has a very high profile and is someone I really respect.  Unfortunately he didn’t take my comment well.  In fact, he had a sort of rude reply.  Oh well, that’s the price of my private war.

Just because it works does it make it right?

I find it interesting that many people believe that if it works, it’s OK.  I can tell you that it’s not OK. 

I don’t like it when sales people try sales tricks on me.  I know they work and I know why they work.  I don’t like being manipulated.  I feel the same way about pop-ups.  I don’t like it when someone yells at me and pop-ups make me feel that someone is yelling at me to do whatever their pop-up is promoting.

I’ve learned that for something to work and be right it has to be congruent.  A long time ago I stopped listening to what people say and started watching what they do.  If the two don’t match I start to get a little wary of what the person is doing.

Congruency is an important thing in life.

Tony Robbins has a saying.  Actually I think it’s a saying from the Neurolinguistic world.  The saying is, “you need to walk your talk.”  This is a short hand way of saying it’s really important to be congruent with your words and actions.  If you’re not then people will notice.  If you’re not you’ll lose trust.

That’s what I start to think when I see pop-ups.  I get that you want me to take some sort of action when I visit your website.  I get that the more people who sign up the larger your tribe becomes.  I also hear it when you say that you want to do business in a “different” way.  The problem is that when you use pop-ups it’s not a different way.  It’s just a different medium.

If you want me to trust you, you have to be congruent.  It’s just that simple.

Short term-gain often provides long-term pain.

I often ask myself why people think short cuts work.  In my experience if you want someone to join your tribe, a simple invitation is good enough.  You don’t have to shout at them and you don’t have to stick stuff in their face.  If people value what you do, they’ll sign up.  It might take a little longer and for me that’s OK. 

Why I left the vending business.

When I was in the vending business all of the computer packages had the ability to run double books.  One set of books was the real sales.  The second set of books was designed to be presented to customers.  The second set of books allowed vending companies to cheat on the commissions or revenue sharing that was provided to customers.

If I promised you a 20% cut in my sales, I could actually make that amount 5%.  All I had to do was dial in a reduction factor of 75%.  You would get a very official statement that looked real.  We could reduce our commission to you by 75% and make it look like we were being honest.  It was a way of making customers feel like they were getting a good deal.

It was impossible for us to be profitable and provide a 20% cut of our sales to customers.  I had a choice to make.  I could start using the reduction factor in our computer program or leave the vending industry.

I decided that selling the business and moving on was a better choice for me.  For me it just wasn’t worth it.  I held and still hold honesty as a very high attribute in my life.

Pop-ups are not in the same class as using an “R Factor” in the vending business.  At the same time, I find them really annoying and don’t promote trust.  I believe it’s important for us to know what builds trust and move towards that spectrum. 

I’ll continue with my private little war and likely even point a few people to this post.  For me, it’s all about walking my talk.  What do you think?  Are pop-ups a trust builder or a trust buster?

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Topics: mission vision values and goals, build trust, communication skills

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