Yesterday a colleague, Mark Hunter, came across one of his articles being plagiarized by a fairly well connected LinkedIn member. He notified a group of other sales coaches, sales consultants and colleagues about this plagiarism. The group responded and not even 24 hours later, this particular article as well as all other articles under this person’s name were removed.
I too have suffered from plagiarism. A sales training company in Texas took one of my website pages one for word and copied it to their own website. When I notified the CEO, he called and said he was unaware, apologized and the copy was removed. The CEO blamed the web designer. Over the years I have discovered other blog postings copied and have called out the authors.
Individuals who plagiarize the intellectual capitol of others demonstrate from more than dishonesty within their business ethics. They also reveal they are lazy, lack creativity and are stupid to think eventually they will not be caught.
A recent study by the University of Missouri revealed the financial impact of dishonesty by CEOs. Unethical behavior does translate to the bottom line to a measurable 4.1% loss in shareholders’ value.
In today’s social selling world where content marketing has become a viable sales leads generating channel, being a plagiarist just does not make good business sense. The reason is simple, in spite of how large the world is, it is still a small world. People are connected to other people. Software programs can find duplicate content with the stroke of a few keys.
One of the more simple ways to avoid even unintentional plagiarism is to Google the title for any content marketing in quotes. This way the you can quickly determine if another person has written a similar article. Also this same tactic can be used to learn if your titles are being plagiarized by someone else.
In sales, people buy from people they know and trust. Swiping the intellectual capital of others will not increase sales.