Truth Telling … is very hard!

TruthIt’s harder to tell the truth than to tell people what they want to hear. The truth is that results are difficult to produce, they’re more expensive than you think, and that the change is going to be difficult and perhaps even disruptive. The truth is that things may have to get worse before they get better. You can see how that might not make you very popular.

Telling people what they want to hear is easier. For example, “all you have to do is switch to our firm to produce better results, we’ll save you money, and there will be a seamless transition that won’t disrupt your business at all.” That sounds good. The contrast principle is “Better, Faster, and Cheaper” or “Better, slower, and more expensive.”

Some of your prospective clients will buy the big lie, “Better, Faster, and Cheaper”. Some will buy the lie three or four times in a row, switching providers over and over again, always hoping that the lie is true. Some of these prospects will eventually tire of pursuing the lie and finally invest the time, energy, and money necessary to producing the results they need. However, some will learn to live with something inferior and never make the investments.

Other prospects may be too old, too wise, or too committed to believe the big lie. They know better. They make mature, rational business decisions. They’re skeptical of anything that sounds too good to be true because they know that there is no way that they could possibly get three outcomes that are as at odds with each other as better, faster, cheaper.

It’s your responsibility to challenge the big lie. You must always ask how they deliver better, faster, and cheaper to their clients or customers. When they hang on to the belief with all their hearts, you have to find your way over them, around them, or abandon them. Some in this group don’t want to deal with the truth. They’d rather take the pill.

When your client decides to make the right investments, it’s your responsibility to help them make those investments and see how investing in you is going to help them produce the results they need. It’s easy to tell this group the truth; they want to hear it. They want the big red pill.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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