FUD is short for “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt”.
FUD is a strategy used by salespeople and marketers to influence a person’s perception by communicating negative, unreliable or false information that appeals to their senses of fear, uncertainty and doubt, all in order to sell a product or service.
Most of us have encountered a salesperson who used FUD techniques in an attempt to convince us that either: their product is superior to everyone else, or we will be exposing ourselves to likely and unnecessary risk (or harm) if we do not buy their product.
Some examples are:
- Purchasing extended warranties on electronic consumer goods and automobile tires.
- Expensive and ineffective anti-aging products that promise we will live longer, look younger; and never live up to their advertised claim.
Many of us can recognize FUD sales techniques, and apply common sense to avoid making unnecessary purchases. However, when we seek the services of a person in a position of trust and authority, common sense can leave us, and we become vulnerable to FUD.
For example, every dentist knows that they could use their position of trust to influence a patient’s treatment choice in order to line their own pocket.
Thankfully, the majority of dentists do not use FUD techniques when recommending treatment to a patient, and for the small minority do use FUD, the regulators can, and do, intervene with harsh disciplinary penalties. The profession does a good job of policing itself and fostering and promoting the principles of Veracity and Beneficence – so much that they become almost innate to a dentist. And that’s a good thing.
Dentists are people too, and can find themselves vulnerable to FUD sales techniques when seeking the services of a person in a position of authority and trust – like an auditor or fraud examiner.
When a dentist has fraud concerns and looks to me me to resolve their fear, uncertainty, and doubt, I do so in their best interests – and not mine. I do not manipulate them into purchasing unnecessary diagnostic tests or services.
This part of the philosophy on which Hiltz and Associates was founded.
We follow the principles of Veracity and Beneficence when dealing with our clients. We understand and empathize with their feelings of fear, uncertainty and doubt, and will NEVER cultivate to those negative feelings in order to manipulate people into paying for unnecessary services.