Gross Violation of Trust: Mormons Getting Their Marketing Wrong

Not that I’m here to judge anyone, mind you.

What those guys do is their business and I don’t want to opine.

But HOW they do it – that’s something I have an opinion about.

In terms of strategy and effectiveness of their efforts… they made a big mistake.

Not very ethical either.


Here’s what happened:

A friend told me yesterday that she was approached at the airport by a few mormons, wanting to talk to her.

She’s friendly, but definitely not the type to take an interest.

So she thanked them for their efforts, and went on to catch her flight.

They took no offence and went about their business.

A normal day at the airport, no harm done, nobody upset.

Or so it seemed.


Because when she got home and unpacked, she found that one of the two proselytisers had slipped a business card into her pocket.

You know, just so that in case she’d change her mind, she’d have a way to get in touch.

Now, I think that’s pretty outrageous.

A person’s pocket is his or her own domain, and nobody has the right to put anything into it without permission.

I know why they did it: they consider it their mission to ‘save as many souls’ as possible.

Whatever that means.


So if a person says ‘no’ today, they just might wake up tomorrow and say ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’.

From their point of view, it makes sense, and the ‘holiness’ of their mission justifies their actions, in their mind.

And if it had been without talking first – say in a crowded lobby, you surreptitiously slip a card into someone’s pocket, it might have been different. Still not something I consider correct, but hey.

But after she said ‘no’, and indicated she’s just not interested?

No. Permission revoked. Leave her alone.


Now, aside from the ethical considerations, it’s also incredibly bad practice!

Those guys think that they might yet ‘save’ the wandering soul, but in fact they achieve exactly the opposite:

Instead of leaving her with the notion that she had talked to someone who truly cared for her well-being, she’s left with the memory of a person who seemed nice enough, but who didn’t respect her opinion or message.

I don’t know, Josef. If that’s how you market your wares, you ain’t gonna sell much of that stuff.

Permission marketing. Respecting people since the beginning of times.

Seriously though: Why on earth would you insist on selling something to people who don’t want it?

All it does is create adversity – which means that they’re not liking you much, and how is anyone going to buy from someone they on’t like?

Feelings, emotions. That’s what makes people make decisions.

Negative emotions don’t lead to a sale. Or a conversion, for that matter – religious or business-wise.

Not that I’ve ever tried – I loathe preaching (except for these daily sermons on psychology and people-based marketing), and the only converting I’ve ever done was after the monastery, on landing pages.

Offering a person something that you think might help them is good.

Ignoring their individuality and ramming your message down their throat is… whatever. Dumb people. Not interesting.

You and I, we don’t work like that.

We say: “Here, this helps. Consider getting it, if you like. Thank you for your time.”

Like so:

I got this newsletter thingamabob which substantially helps you grow your business so as to get you more sales. I think it’ll help you. If you want it, you can get it here –>

If not? Then that’s fine – your choice.

No hard feelings, no sly tactics, no manipulation and no business cards slipped into your pocket. No matter how much I believe you need this – all I can do is present my case and leave you to decide for yourself what’s best.





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