Should I Use Shame Marketing?

Nov 18, 2021
5 min read
Julian Cañita

Are you willing to do online shaming for marketing purposes?

It’s a common tool used by many, including financial advisors, natural products, and charities.

"Children are hungry because you decided to drink coffee."

Shame marketing is using shame, blame, and guilt in an effort to convince a prospect to take certain actions because it would be the ‘responsible’ thing to do.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying it’s wrong.

It’s probably even effective for some and that’s why more and more people do it.

Say if I was a financial advisor myself and I saw another successful advisor doing it, I would probably do it myself.

But in my experience, this is not a good experience for the prospect.

And from what I’ve seen, one of the most helpful things you can do as a sales professional is to support your prospects into making an empowered decision, not one coming from fear, guilt or shame.

Try Empathy Instead

Empathy is not about making the other person wrong.

For example: a prospect is hesitant to buy because of price concerns.

Shame marketing would be when you, the salesperson, show what expenses the prospect has that are unnecessary like milk tea, shopping, etc and compare it against what they are offering.

You are trying to impose your own views and opinions on the prospect dictating to them how they should think.

But empathy is all about going beside your prospect so you can look at things from his or her perspective and understand why they would have that perspective.

Shame marketing is saying “You have the wrong mindset. This is not an expense, it’s an investment.”

Empathetic marketing is saying “Hey I see why you would think that. It’s not your fault. If I were in your shoes, I would think it’s expensive too. While it is a bit costly, I’d like to invite you to take a look at what it’s costing you not to take this offer…”

Selling isn’t about winning against the person you are speaking with.

It’s about being able to support a prospect into being able to make an empowered decision. Your clients will love you for it.