Selling On Promises: Why Transparency Matters To Us…

Life’s like a box of chocolates- you never know what you’re gonna get

– Forrest Gump

Am I that transparent? I want you, I need you- oh baby, oh baby

– 10 Things I Hate About You

Have you ever bought a discount flight and then paid more on top for all the unseen extras? Or been in the U.S, seen an item listed for a great price and then been stung when the local sales tax was stacked on top of that seductive sticker price?

Or maybe you’ve met somebody and while their words told you one thing, you could tell they weren’t being up-front with you. Just little giveaways (or ‘tells’) that revealed all. Recently I read a book, titled What Everybody Is Saying (Joe Navarro) and it delves into the minor details of how to read a person beyond the mere words they’re speaking to you.

Because you might ‘know’ a person doesn’t line up with how they’re trying to present themselves or that a particular offer sounds too good to be true, but when you think about it, what’s the real frustration?

The real frustration is that we’ve already got enough things to think about. Enough issues that require our ongoing attention and energy. Having to decipher what somebody’s real intentions are or what you’re really getting when you sign up means you have to devote more of your time (and energy) to being on-guard and minimising the chances of being stung.

If you ask me, life is too short! Call it simplistic, but whenever I pay for a service or a product, I want to know exactly what I’m getting- and it seems like I’m not the only one. Places like Dominos now allow you to see your pizza being prepared in the store before it’s delivered- so you know exactly what you’re going to see when you open that piping hot carton.

After all, when you know what you’re getting straight up then it’s easier to make a decision- yay or nay? At least if a service is expensive, we know it’s expensive from the start. If a process is complicated and time-consuming, then you sign up understanding it’s not a simple case of click your fingers and get the result.

I still remember the day I walked in and signed up for the Fight Like A Pro experience back in 2016 and Gavin talked about how over the coming 10 weeks there’d be times I’d feel like quitting, but that (ultimately) if I got to Fight Night it’d be one of the best things I’d ever done and I’d want to go back and do it again- like plenty of other guys who returned to train here at the gym…

Without giving too much away (because you should read the article for yourself), I was in the midst of a difficult year and I’m generally a persistent person. I figured wanting to give up was for men weaker in spirit than myself. I also assumed Gavin talking up Fight Night as being “one of the best things I’d ever done” was just his pitch.

Yet ultimately- he was correct on both counts. Not only did I return to the gym to train again, I stepped into the ring once more at the next Fight Night. It turned out that I got what I signed up for (and then some) even if I didn’t know it yet…

As human beings we’re attracted to certainty because it’s part of our survival mechanism. We want to know that water is wet, sand is gritty, sugar is sweet and that if we stand in the middle of the road then our day isn’t going to end well. Small elements of certainty like this make it easier (mentally and emotionally) to focus on longer-term decisions that are important to our survival.

If we do get the unexpected, we want it to be something good. Like the afternoon when, just a couple of weeks short of my 10th birthday and (intending to hit the street in the new billy-cart I’d built with my dad) I walked out into the living room to see both my parents sitting there with the Scalextric slot-car set I’d been wanting for ages. It was an early birthday present (truth is, my dad was keen to have a crack at it himself) and to date it remains arguably the best birthday present I ever received…

But back to what we expect as a customer-

Ideally, we want to know exactly what we’re getting and how much we’re going to pay for it, right? If it’s a product then we want to know the materials, the quality, the finish, the size, the weight, the features and the price. If it’s a service then we want to know what’s going to be done, how long it’s going to take, the results and (yet again) the price.

So when I was brainstorming what kind of guarantees to offer clients, making transparency one of those guarantees didn’t need a second thought. What it means is that before you pay the invoice (let alone receive the invoice) we’ve discussed the proposal with you. You know what service you’re getting, the timeframe it’s due to be completed in and how much it’s going to cost in total-

So if you’re thinking about getting sales or marketing copy written and you want the peace of mind that comes with certainty and knowing what to expect, then contact us

The Birthday Party That Fell Flat: Why Efficiency Matters…

Let me take you back to the occasion of my mothers’ 40th birthday party

Now obviously, your 40th birthday is a big occasion and (while I haven’t experienced it yet) it’s considered a milestone like any year where you turn another decade older. So for Mum’s 40th she’d organised a medieval themed birthday party, complete with a spit-roast in the backyard, horseback rides and (best of all): a jumping castle

It was that last one I looked forward to the most. Having a fairground attraction in your own backyard for a day seems like the most awesome thing ever when you’re 9 years old, the only thing better would be discovering they were taking apart The Demon from Wonderland and coming to set it up at your place (but then again maybe not, as I was scared of rollercoasters as a kid and I regret the rides I missed out on, but that’s another story)…

So the weeks counted down and then at last, here it was: the day of Mum’s 40th birthday party…

The caterers arrived and set up the spit roast, the horse float showed up and a white horse clopped through our side gate and into the backyard, family and friends came around to our place dressed like the cast from a Robin Hood movie- while I eagerly waited for the jumping castle, which would arrive at any moment, surely…

I waited…

And waited…

The afternoon drew on and still no sign of any jumping castle. By this stage even my parents were getting impatient, calling the hire company up for a please explain? According to the hire company, their guy was on the road and meant to be turning up with the jumping castle soon.

Half an hour ticked by. Then another half hour. The birthday cake was brought out, Mum blew out the candles and speeches were made. Yet still no sign of the jumping castle. Eventually Mum called the company back and passed on a message, simply saying “Boy very upset”

As I heard her say this I cringed at her exaggerating for dramatic effect. I wasn’t balling my eyes out. I wasn’t sitting in a corner and sulking. There was cake to eat, a horse to ride, cousins and the family friends’ kids to take for hot laps around the backyard in my old red Little Tykes wagon. But sure- I was as disappointed as any 9 year old kid would be when they get promised a jumping castle and then it never shows up…

To their credit, the hire company did the reasonable thing and (once it was clear today there’d be no bouncing) let us have the jumping castle for another day and refunded us. I could live with that.

So the alternate date was arranged, I invited my friends over and then come that day when I would- we all would- all get to jump around at last?

No sign of it. A call to the company again led to them calling the home of this guy who was meant to be delivering it. His wife apparently said he was at footy training and then meant to be dropping the jumping castle off. I don’t know what happened after footy training, but that jumping castle never showed up. Strike 2…

After this point, the company boss spoke to Mum on the phone and said they’d now give us the jumping castle for an entire week. It would be delivered by somebody else, as they sacked the bloke who’d let us down twice now.

Looking back now, it almost feels like the premise for a depressing Simpsons episode: bloke still manages to fail at a job that allows him to be somewhat loose with punctuality= gets the sack. I wonder what the rest of that guys’ backstory was? I probably wasn’t the only person he’d let down because in my experience, if somebody is letting you down on small things then they’re probably letting other people down on much bigger things as well…

But in the end, the jumping castle arrived- a giant inflatable giraffe, head popping up behind the roof of our house and wobbling around all week, visible from the end of our street. My friends, cousins and the neighbourhood kids all came around and yeah, it was cool being able to come home, go out to the backyard, turn the generator on and bounce around until you were exhausted!

Whether it’s waiting for a jumping castle to show up at your house, a flight to leave or a team member to submit their contribution for an important group assignment, being kept waiting is massively frustrating, isn’t it? Because somebody else’s incompetence or lack of care means you end up paying for it, whether you miss out on the fun, miss out on an important connection or miss an opportunity to achieve greatness.

And nobody wants to miss out like that, do they?

It’s for this reason that here at Scribe Copywriting, we’re committed to efficiency. So much so that it’s one of our 5 Guarantees to every project we take on. I’ve edited brochure content, written client emails and turned them over in the space of 24 hours to help clients meet important deadlines. There’s an added cost involved with tight deadlines like those, of course- but it pays to be punctual.

So whether you’re in party hire, property development or providing an outstanding service people pay you top dollar for- you’re assured that the copy you need is in your hands when you need it-

If punctuality is your prime objective, then contact us.