Fancy Yellow Diamonds and Engendering Trust

A few weeks ago, I got a poorly produced brochure in the mail at the office. The brochure from a Capital company in Ottawa advertised (badly) “Fancy Yellow Diamonds“. The brochure was printed on a home inkjet printer, had a really bad layout that smacked of desktop publishing and decried the virtues of investing in these precious stones. Set almost entirely in Times New Roman bold and containing at least two triple exclamation points, I immediately disregarded it as the worst kind of junk mail and tossed it in the recycling bin.

At least, that is, until yesterday.

Yesterday afternoon, I received a call from someone at this agency in Ottawa purporting to be an investment agent for fancy yellow diamonds. He told me that I could easily get into this amazing investment opportunity for as little as $1,000. He said that I didn’t have to take his word for it, but I’m not sure who else’s word I was supposed to take since he was not offering the names or contact info for any other diamond experts who would prove this theory. I don’t like to be rude on the phone, but it took me telling him ‘no’ at least 5 times before I could hang up without having to slam the phone down on him.

I hate this sort of tactic. When on earth are organizations going to start to learn about pragmatism in their marketing efforts? Why send a crappy homemade brochure when what you are selling has a significant value? While I don’t agree with lavish print material in this day and age, at least take some time to work with a designer and a decent printer to create clean communications. The second I saw this brochure, I immediately distrusted the company that sent it.

To then follow up with telephone solicitation is the worst kind of marketing sin. I never agreed to be called. I never asked. There was no permission implied in my phone number being published to the web.

Worst of all, when you sell investment opportunities, there needs to be trust between both parties. With all of the recent media coverage over investment nightmares gone awry and ponzi schemes, these people have less of our collective trust than even lawyers. They should be doing everything in their power to get us onside, to look for qualified leads via search marketing. The last thing they should be doing is cold calling busy business owners.

So, who has gotten your trust lately? How’d they do it? What about the opposite?

Previously posted on

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