The Truth Barrier in Sales

“You can’t handle the truth” is a well known line quoted from the movie A Few Good Men.  In sales sometimes the truth is a very real barrier and may become a sales objection.

Yesterday after the conclusion of a podcast recording (to be aired 7/23/14)  for Small Business Talent, the moderator, Stephen Lahey and I started a conversation that eventually led to Stephen making an observation about “there is a small market for the truth.”

Stephen’s comment reminded me about an encounter I had with an experienced instructional designer when I was an active and yet still novice instructional designer.  I was listening to a seasoned instructional designer talk about a project and how he was giving the client what the client wanted, but knowing the client needed something else. I found his statement somewhat perplexing and asked him to provide some greater clarity.  His response was “The client paid more for what they wanted even though the truth cost a lot less.  The client did not want the truth and who am I to say otherwise?”

How often do small business owners and sales professionals because of the desire for the quick fix, desperation to make sales goals or the inability to handle the truth, side step or worse yet walk away from the truth?

In the professional service industry of  executive coaching, business coaching or talent management consulting and probably most other industries, ignoring the truth in the short term might be beneficial, but in the long term has disaster written all over it. Yet those basic human desires overrule common sense and even good business ethics.

Being honest and truthful does have consequences and sometimes those consequences have a negative impact on business growth. Yet the positive side of being truthful is those ideal customers will get your message and the overall ability to sell them will be far easier because they bought you first for your truthfulness.

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