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Illegal Sales Tactics Businesses Must Avoid

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. | Last updated on

You are not only a business person but a person, and you know how annoying other people can be, especially when they are trying to sell you on something. Yet you read so much different business advice that you can't always figure out when to be aggressive and when to be nice.

Opt for the latter whenever you wonder what approach to take because there are some deceptive trade and sales tactics that are not only unpleasant for the customer, but also illegal. Let's look at some sales tactics you should absolutely avoid for your sake and that of your customers.

Think Long Term

Some people can sell anything and some people will say anything to sell something. Although the bottom line depends on sales figures and not good feelings, you do need to be careful. Take a long-term view, understanding you want customers to come back over and over again and your business to last a long time. A sale you don't make today can turn into a much more lucrative deal down the line if you cultivate your customers.

  1. Bait and Switch: Although it is difficult to prove a bait and switch scheme, it is nonetheless illegal to engage customer promising one price or product and switch the deal on them when they are hooked. Sure, you can try to explain why a more expensive product, model, or service is more suitable to a particular customer than another. But you can't lure customers with false information or trick them in any way.
  2. Putting Customers to Work: Your customers and clients will refer more business your way, but you should avoid referral selling, which is illegal in many states. In referral selling, you offer one customer a deal in exchange for leads or referrals to other potential customers. This is essentially a way to put your customers to work for you and, apart from being illegal in some places, can create awkwardness for you and your customers. Allow the referrals to develop organically.

Talk to a Lawyer

If you are concerned about an appropriate approach to marketing and sales, or otherwise want guidance on any aspect of business operations, talk to a lawyer. Get help setting up systems that comply with the law and work for your business.

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