Selling Through Fear & Not Through Results

Danny DeVito portraying a used car sales man in Matilda

Danny DeVito portraying a used car sales man in Matilda

Right now there is this awful habit in the services or consulting world of selling through fear. With regards to the realm of social media marketing this is particularily rife. Social media marketing has become ubiquitous with business practice, regardless of the size of the company in question. Whether it be a cafe on the corner or a global clothing label, they both utilise the same social media platforms to engage with their customers. However, the problem is the understanding of effective social media marketing has not grown with the proliferation of it's usage. There is an education gap.

It's this education gap that is exploited to generate business for consultants and service providers. There's nothing wrong with gaps in markets, it's how business works, but the strategies used to exploit this market can sometimes be questionable. This is where selling though fear comes into play.


Possibly the most common variation of selling through fear is FOMO or fear of missing out. FOMO is commonly used in everyday life and chances are you have experienced it in some form today. For those not aware, FOMO revolves around offering something to a market by conveying an emotion of being left out if you don't buy into this service/product inducing an impulsive response of need.

This is generally fine, as more often than not the person/organisation selling to you this way is answering some just realised need or the offering is of an expected quality, all is good (well sort of). However in consulting, when you are offering something that your client is alien to it's processes, bar the resultant metrics (increased sales and what not), this can become a moral quandary and situations can arise where ethics come into question.

Is it ethical to tell a client they are missing out by not spending thousands on advertising their business on social media, only for the result to be a lot of impressions and not much else. Clients sold this way, more often than not don't know to ask about CTRs (click through rates) or demographic data. And, if the client questions something, than the intangibles of future results get the consultant through. "Oh, these impressions have resulted in increased brand awareness, which in time will result in increased visits and revenue growth. You'll see". This is selling through fear and not through results. Relying on ignorance, rather than improvements to a clients business.

"If you feed them, they will come"

Generally, clients rely on their service provider solely to achieve their goals in the particular area they hired their consultant for. That is why FelleMedia always offer services through results and to make them as tangible as possible. Sure, this can be difficult sometimes and require patience to bring the client up to speed, but if you feed them they will come. Feed the client with understandable data that they can react to and debate with. 

The client leaves knowing more than when the conversation started and this can only help them going forward. Even if they do not use our services again, lasting value has been added and after all that is the job of the consultant, to add value. Some might think that is not beneficial to the business, that ignorance is bliss, I'd argue the contrary. A happy client, is an informed one, as at the end of the day, everyone likes to know where their money is going.

Shane FelleFelleMedia