Ethical Question: Sandy’s Response

In posting the ethical question, and I truly believe it a question of ethics and integrity yesterday, I was curious about the responses I'd get.

There are, of course, no right or wrong answers.  It's what's right, or wrong, for you and your business.

Here's my response:

Once I raised the price of a program/product/service, I would not give a friend, former client, etc. the "old" price for several reasons, including:

1. I announced a price increase — not adhering to it would call my integrity into question and others would wonder what else I would be willing to be out of integrity on.

2. If I "change my mind" on that item, it sets a precedent that I would do so again on other items.

3. It lessens the value of my product/program/service to be changing the price willy nilly because someone asks me to.

4. If the program is something that I chose to offer preferred client pricing on (a great and completely valid marketing decision), my clients would know that in advance and have a special link/coupon in order to obtain their special pricing.

I've seen so many instances of business owners using marketing techniques ("only X number available", "available until Y date", etc.) and then changing them because their sales were too low OR too high (and they wanted to keep cashing in), that I'm very sensitive to what I consider a lack of integrity within marketing campaigns.

I have 2 simple questions to determine if something is right for me in terms of whether or not I'd do it:

  1. Knowing my sensitivity around questions of integrity, would doing it conflict with that? If the answer is "yes", I don't do it.  PERIOD.
  2. If I saw it on the front page of the paper/twitter/facebook, would I be embarassed?  If the answer is "yes", I don't do it (even if it passed number 1 above). PERIOD.

The above questions are asked in the order listed.  If something doesn't pass #1, it does NOT move on to #2.

In the end, you must choose to do what's right for you and your business.