When discussing any topic that involves opposing viewpoints, it’s almost impossible to discuss issues with civility and decency. Whether it’s politics, rival corporations, or simply two brothers or sisters arguing over who gets the toy, there always seems to be room for the idea of using shame as a way to get whatever people desire. When all other arguments in favor of one side do not give them the desired result, instead of trying to convince the audience that their argument is better, they will resort to finding fault within the other side. This is commonly known as a shaming tactic or a red herring. It is used as a distraction in order to win the argument without presenting compelling evidence.
Shame is often used by political opponents in order to tear apart the competition before they can even present an argument. This is not limited to government. Companies will find any dirt they can get on their competitor in order to advance their own bottom line. It’s much easier to slander your competition than it would be to create a product worth selling. If they can shame their competition, they won’t need to work very hard to get the results they desire for their bottom line.
There is a major problem with this. Shaming tactics only go so far. One cannot go around talking down to other people and expecting them to toe the line for them forever. You can only shame so many people for so long until someone stops paying attention to you. This is exactly why the 2016 presidential election’s results went against what the political left wanted.
Imagine if you were to sell one product and your competitor was selling something similar. Now imagine that a customer entered the store and you yelled at him or tried to belittle him for trying to compare your product to that of your competitor. Do you think any self-respecting man would buy anything from someone who treated them poorly? Shame only works on weak-willed individuals. The average customer understands that they have the power in the relationship since his money is what you want. It is then your responsibility to convince the customer that you’re right or that your product has value. If you try to bully a customer into considering your product, all you will receive in return is a bad customer review on the internet. Word gets out really fast and your reputation is on the line.
Shaming is not a sales pitch whether you like it or not. If you test someone’s patience, you lost the sale. Arguing with someone rarely gets the other side to agree. The most you would get if you were confrontational is someone pretending to agree with you in order to shut you up. That individual doesn’t return to your store or website, finds a competitor, and talks behind your back because you wanted to act like you were tough and run your mouth at them instead of trying to convince them that you had a product or service worth selling. The fact that this blog post is being written means that too many people don’t apply the Golden Rule to selling products. Shame doesn’t sell and if you use shame, you’re a poor salesman because the customer is always right.