ReachOut: Products of Fear

ReachOut: Products of Fear from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

Mike Zwingman

Mike Zwingman

I don’t call any products “snake oil” because the truth is that any product can be a snake oil if it doesn’t work for you or if you don’t use it correctly, etc.  However, there’s been some snake oily kind of products floating around lately.  Things that claim to control off-label weeds.  They’re non-traditional and sketchy.

I have a problem with this.  Such products—and their sales tactics—prey upon your fear, much like the products and sales tactics you might witness on very late-night television.  At 3:03 am you may be sitting there feeling very fine about your life, your safety, your marriage, etc.  Then 3:04 and boom!  There’s the vitamin ad or security system ad or, yes, the Viagra ad, that reminds you that you have something to be scared of.

It’s lousy.  These products I’m talking about—they’ve actually been around for a while, but with tighter economic margins all around, their pitch is different.  At $7 corn, they didn’t have to sell so hard, but at $3 corn, they’ve got to peddle.  They do so by poking at the fear that what you do isn’t enough.

Friends, don’t listen to the carnival barkers.  Don’t buy your pills from the guy on the corner opening his trench.  Go to the pharmacy.  Go to the General Store.  Go to the person who doesn’t slink off into the night, the person who will be there tomorrow morning.

Am I saying buy from us?  Kind of.  We’re not slinking off into the night for sure, so we fit the bill.  More though, I’m saying listen to (and buy from) your trusted advisor.  I’m also saying this though: take your trusted advisor to task.  Challenge them on their product recommendations.  Ask questions.  Be a pest.

When you do this, two quite wonderful things come from it: 1) a little throwback to my article from last week—you come to own your decision and direct, rather than co-opting it to someone else, and 2) you get not necessarily the answers that you want, but the answers that you deserve.  These are the answers that will help you move forward in the best way possible.  These are the answers that will prove to you that your trusted advisor isn’t a carnival barker.

I can’t promise that we’ll have all the answers to your questions, but there’s something to be said for that too.  We’re not trying to be that dude, that smooth talker who knows all the right things to say at all the right times.  We say what is true.  So when we don’t know an answer to your question, we’ll go look it up.

Whatever our answer, we’ll back it up with some science to prove we’re not blowing smoke.Blue Box

Unfortunately, the cliché is correct: if something sounds too good to be true, then it is.  Those advertisements you receive for products that position themselves as cure-alls or silver bullets simply aren’t stating the scientific truth about a product.  One product can’t do it all by its lonesome.  Good products are parts of systems, and the people who sell them are easily located the day after or after or after.  Don’t be fear-mongered by the desperate (and predatory) advertising.  If it does succeed in planting a fearful little seed in your brain one night, get some rest and call your trusted advisor in the morning, who will alleviate that fear with some good old science and information.