Truth, Lies and Stories

I don't know about you, but I really don't like it when someone tells me something that is factually true, but is untrue when the full context of the situation is known. This is not a political article, although political ads provide plenty of examples of trying to persuade by withholding the complete truth. From my point of view this is worse than a straight out lie - because the communicator is attempting to manipulate you by telling part of the story.

Politics certainly does not have a corner in the lying market. Plenty of companies stretch the truth a little or a lot.

Nothing will damage your reputation or brand more quickly than lying. People will find out and when they do they will not be happy. Chances are they will tell A LOT of people about the falsehood and your brand.

Be straight forward and honest in all of your dealings and you will be rewarded. Own mistakes, tell the truth, and have a great product or service. Customers will flock to you.

Now, it is important to remember that you don't have to make buying decisions for customers with your honesty. I've seen companies attempt to be so transparent that they nearly talk customers out of buying something even though the customer would benefit from the product.

Present the product fairly. Be straight forward, but the role of marketing is to entice interest and inform. If you have a concern you want to be discussed when a customer calls - make sure it is on the campaign summary you provide to sales people, so they discuss it with customers (or at least make sure the issue is understood) before the sale is finalized.

A veteran sales person shared this with me long ago and I have not forgotten it: always tell the truth, it's easier than trying to remember who you lied to!