As a small business owner, I am honored to receive email sales pitches for advertising placement, marketing and promotion help, and, in this case, the “Talk of the Town 2010 Plaque of Honor for Excellence in Customer Satisfaction.”
As someone perpetually obsessed with both get rich quick and get rich slow schemes, one of my favorite activities is getting to the bottom of what’s in it for these services.
“Talk of the Town” would have you believe that they evaluate all businesses and that yours came out on top. They interviewed my customers and they love me. The first time I received one of their emails, I was honored.
I especially enjoy this quote from their website:
What does the recognition mean to me and my business?
To a business it means everything. It reflects your customer’s opinion of your business and drives new business referrals. You can leverage this award to thank customers, staff and returning and new business development.
In other words, this recognition means nothing, but we’re really good at stringing fluffy sounding words together so that you feel good about what you do and want to give us money.
The funniest part to me is that someone took the time to put this elaborate scheme together. I have nothing but the most profound respect for what motivates con men, but am continually bewildered by their constant dismissal of whatever moral compass they have inside.
They do look like nice plaques, though. Maybe I’ll ask for mine for Christmas.