We All Want To Be Respected – Then We’ll Trust

I was reading Seth Godin's post this morning about his recent experience in setting up a friends PC and how it was loaded with software that made it difficult to remove and other "gotchas" when I realized this is why I often get notes that puzzle me from readers or people who download my free eBook.

For example, I used to have something I called a Secret Password that you had to request if you wanted to download a full, free copy of the eBook Listen First – Sell Later. When someone sent me an email I would send them a personal note (not an auto-response) and I'd also let them know that asking for the secret password did not get them put on any kind of email list, etc. I only wanted to thank them and say hello.

The emails back were amazing. They were often profuse in their thanks that I wasn't making them sign-up for something or that I wanted something in return. Many realized that my notes were personally written and expressed their thanks.

I knew I was on to something. Acting like a human being who cares about his readers, his tribe is a very good thing. People like it when you treat them with kindness and RESPECT! They tend to demonstrate the same behavior back to you. In fact, there is a name for this. It's called psychological reciprocity. We (as in 99% of the world) recognize the effect.

Smack someone in the head and you are likely to get smacked back. Hug them and get ready to receive a hug.

Make me sit through a video when I come to your site and I'm likely to click away from you. Send me spam week after week because I once bought from you and I'll buy no more. Use pop under ads that I have to get rid of and I'll never buy from you. (Are you listening Netflix?)

This is not hard to understand – is it?

We all understand it.

We all hate the games that advertisers and marketers are playing.

We all hate being treated with disrespect.

Why don't they understand this?

What don't they just do the right thing? 

Then they'll earn our trust.

14 thoughts on “We All Want To Be Respected – Then We’ll Trust”

  1. My Mac came without any commercials, forced signups, or gotchas.
    I hadn’t thought about it before, but I wonder if that’s one reason that Apple has a tribe — it respects its customers.

  2. I’m also wondering, do PC users know this about Macs, that the first time you plug it in and start it up, you don’t have any of that junk? No stickers all over the case either.

  3. @Jodi & @Dan – I’ve never thought about Mac’s not coming with the usual installed gotcha software. Yes, I’m a PC user – but not PC.
    One of the ironies of this post is that it attracted two SPAM comments where people leave a comment that has nothing to do with the post so they can get a link to their SPAM site. And, it also attracted a troll.
    All three comments have been deleted. It’s this kind of mindset that stops many bloggers from allowing comments or requiring approval first.

  4. @Tim – a reasonable question about cost. I don’t know. Do you have an idea? The iTunes question sounds like a good one for Apple. They are not without some of the same marketing tactics that turn people off. I can’t seem to stop their iTune emails and just send them to my SPAM folder as I have no interest.

  5. Sadly, Netflix uses those infuriating pop under ads for the same reason that people use spam, because it works. I read somewhere that 5% of mass spam emails generate sales, and when the cost is next to nothing, 5% of a zillion emails is a lot.

  6. I’m looking for deeper insight here. I’m impressed, Bob, that on your website, you give away a download of your book without requiring opt-in. Yet you do offer updates for those who want them. I like that but am not yet so successful that I feel ready to give up the option to mail promotional information. Ironically, I rarely do it – most of my mailings are more tips, techniques, etc. though I do occasionally include a promotion as part of the newsletter or lesson for an affiliate site that I feel would be helpful. It takes tremendous amounts of time and effort to do some of the blog posts that I do out of a desire to provide usable information. Here’s the irony:
    > At some point, I need to make money to enable me to keep being of service, YET
    > I too find pop up ads really annoying
    > I also dislike receiving emails too often as it feels like abuse to me – generally once a week seems realistic
    >> The biggest irony of all is that people are starting to ignore their emails because there are just too many
    > There needs to be a balance on social networking connection sites where there is some real effort at being a person as opposed to just looking to blast out another ad for your product. Although I rarely drop friends from Facebook, I get pretty good at ignoring the abusers.
    So the question is, where is the balance? How do I make a living and still respect my community that I’m striving to develop.

  7. This is great information for a novice PC buyer. Very few of these spam messages interest me. You might want to relay to your readers that there is free shareware utilities that will remove this “bloatware” for you. PC Decrapifier is one they may want to look at. Thanks for all of the great information.

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