the most annoying “empty promises” that empty your wallet

right, rant-time: (along with some “your input”-fun & games)

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

the Interwebs are full of bold claims, promises (quite often of the ’empty’ kind) and questionable ROI-propositions, and they don’t even have to be of andouillete proportions


“double your business in 5 simple steps”

don’t get me wrong, that’s a perfectly legitimate claim (it really is simple (just apply the law of compounding, find 5 steps where you tweak the performance of your funnel by a measly 15%, et voila, you’ve doubled your business))

where that claim goes wrong is of course that it implies:


Simple, yes.

Easy … er, probabably not, otherwise everybody would be doing it.

another example:

“1 cent FB clicks”

Again, simple … unless you want an audience that wants your stuff and is willing to give you money for it (or at least an email).

Clicks are easy and simple, leads (ideally of the ‘ideal’) kind are a entirely different story.

But of course, the marketer who sells you “1 cent FB clicks” kinda implies that “surely, with all those clicks, there will be plenty who are your ideal customers…” (fling it and some will stick-philosophy)

anyway, plenty more of those (and I’m curious which one annoys you the most, just leave a comment below), but I guess what they have in common is this:

they make a bold claim that suggests that something is ‘easy’ … whereas in most cases it’s probably either simple (but not easy), or …

… it’s simple and easy, but doesn’t actually get you the thing you’re really after (cheap clicks or qualified leads?)

so, how about the opposite then:

how about total transparency?

In the sense of telling your prospects up-front that you’ve got something for sale, and it’s going to be good, heck even great for some, but not for others.

Best illustrated with one of my favourite claims of all time:

You don’t need a list, or a product or a website, and you can still crush it

as in:

selling Product Launch Formula to me when I was a total and utter “Internet Marketing” beginner is plain WRONG!

(more precisely: selling PLF to anyone who doesn’t have a very specific need for that product is plain immoral!)

“all you need is this formula, no list, no product, nothing else. It’s EASY”

(yeah, f***in’ right….)

it’s a great example that the psychological principles behind product launch formula do work (and they’re basically “Cialdini re-told”… so save yourself the cash and get the book), but it’s also an example of using those sales-psychology principles for “evil” purposes (namely selling something to someone who simply isn’t in a position to use the product you’re selling)

So, why not tell me that Product launch formula probably is NOT for me?

Instead, how about helping me get to the point where I can actually use PLF profitably?

Don’t you think this would create an environment where I’d actually TELL you what I want and need, rather than you, the vendor having to guess, stab in the dark, … and then to make up for your lack of knowledge (which is due to lack of trust) by using, ha, you guessed it, more dodgy sales-psychology.

Which creates even less trust.

Which makes me even less inclined to tell you what would really make my life easier (so you can go and create it for me)

(which is really quite funny, because the whole concept behind PLF is of course “hey, people will LOVE you and TRUST you and tell you exactly what they want and we’ll be dancing with fairies for all eternity”.

So, remind me, why are you using used car-salesman tactics to sell me this incredibly trust-building product, walk the talk fer crying out loud…)

Think about it like this:

Would you go and hire an architect for a new house … and then not tell them what you really, REALLY want your house to look like (simply because you don’t trust them, they’re trying to sell you something after all)?


And (IMO) that’s probably due to the fact that architects don’t sell houses (or plans for houses) to people who have absolutely no use for a house.

They probably could, using enough dodgy sales-psychology (and if you’re thinking “no way” … guess again, I’ve seen a few examples myself)

But they typically don’t.

I could go on, but I won’t.

Your take: what’s your favourite, totally overused (and underdelivered) promise and why does it make you mad?


PS: in case you’re wondering why I’m picking on Mr Walker and his product in particular, well, some reasons, but none are relevant for the purposes of this post. He’s just an example of a whole breed of “not walking the talk” vendors … you just have to look at the “client attraction” crowd who promise to show you “how to attract clients without having to be salesy” …

… only to use heaps and heaps of dodgy sales-psychology (yes, urgency, bonuses, reciprocity, price-drops, the whole enchilada …) just to get you to enrol into their program.

Er, again, remind me: if you’re so good at ‘attracting’ clients, why (TF) are you using all that crap?

PPS: dang, this would’ve been the PERFECT place to have an image of Chuck Norris doing a round-house kick and wiping the floor with “not walking the talk” marketers (and then force-feeding them some andouillette) … alas, I couldn’t find such an image (I could use legally), so use your imagination: Chuck Norris, dodgy marketers, round-house kick….



  1. Matthew Newnham says:

    Like. [As in agree, NOT Like, lol]. Examples? Where is this non-transparent, “sales psychology for my ends and not for mutual gain” NOT being used? Hmm, hard to find those authentic needles in that giant haystack…

    • lol, I’m just thinking … anyone using dodgy sales-psychology should have it served up with with a friendly “would you like some repeat customers with that?” (if the answer is: “nah, I’m good, I’m after the short-term kill…” then they’re all set…)

  2. Roland Haynes says:

    I want to thank you for this post and encourage you to continue being a “lighthouse” in an extremely turbulent sea of deception and downright false promises. I find it totally amazing that none of the couple hundred emails I receive every couple days make any effort to deliver honest and transparent information which can be of benefit to the email recipient.

    Unfortunately, I suspect that most people prefer the false info rather than the truth since that would negate any reason to buy “lotto tickets”……!!! In any case, I do appreciate being on your list…the only one I know of so far that consistently attempts to stay on the side of “sanity”….!!!

    • Roland, thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it.

      re the “quick fix” and lotto ticket mentality … well, it’s hard-wired into humans, I guess most of us wouldn’t mind a short-cut now and then. What you’ll find is that those who are serious, just keep it under control a little bit better…

  3. Push button, competition crushing, autopilot profits which crush the competition as if on steroids comes to mind.

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