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Qualify your statements

In business, there is a hope that in some way we can be the biggest and best so that clients will come flocking to us. And some businesses give into that temptation and make claims that are not exactly accurate, or even true.

Too much hype just makes people switch off, and being caught out in a lie or false claim does not build am image of professionalism or integrity. In other, these behaviours do not build a strong business foundation.

So before you make any claims, be sure they are accurate and that you have checked them out.

Be very careful using terms such as ‘best’, ‘most popular’, ‘biggest seller’ and so on unless you have statistics and research to back up your claims.

If you say you are the first – don’t just check that no one else has done it before, check that your wording makes it clear what no one else has done before. For instance, saying I run the first business directory in Australia is not quite the same as saying I run the first online business directory in Australia. Likewise, there may be two interpretations of some words – online support could mean forums, a mail group, an information site, chat room discussions or some combination of the lot. So you may be the first online forum but not the first online support group.

And remember, it isn’t just to maintain your image and integrity – if you stray too far from the facts, you may face legal issues, too.

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