All marketplaces have slimy competitors. In the short term, they may have an advantage. But over the long term, their scummy tactics almost always backfire.
Doubt my words? Here’s a true case in point: Producer/Advisor Sales Services (we’ve changed the company’s name) was launched this past spring to provide services to financial advisors and their prospective clients. It started by building a huge database of financial providers. Next it deployed this database on a site designed to help consumers learn more about individual advisors. When consumers requested information, a PASS representative would contact the advisor and request a fee for giving the prospect the information as well as an annual membership charge.
The dirty deed
Now here comes the slime. If the advisor refused to pay, PASS accused the advisor of not being committed to full transparency. They then threatened to warn the consumer in writing that this could be indicative of something serious hiding in their background. If the advisor still refused, a firm representative made good on the threat. In its sales conversations, the firm also spread lies about competitors.
One advisor immediately filed a formal complaint with his state attorney general alleging extortion by “strong-arm” tactics. Then one of the leading trade publications ran a stinging expos? of PASS sales practices.