truth or lie

Objection:  You Haven’t Been Honest With Me

Respect the other person.  Lying diminishes trust.  At some point, you may have not provided facts, even if it’s unintentional.  

  • Never lie to try to gain an advantage over the client. 
  • If you’re caught in a fib, have enough respect for the Client to admit it and work to rebuild the trust between you

Little White Lies.  Most of us have grown into the habit of telling little white lies over the years.  They’re the kind of thing you tell Grandma if you don’t want to hurt her feelings.  You tell her what she wants to hear.  This sort of lie is very common, because we have a natural tendency to want to please the client.  After all, if the client’s happy, we are all happy.  

*The Danger*   Telling the clients what they want to hear rather than the truth can cause a lot of potential problems.  Lying by omission is as dangerous – not telling the “whole story” leaving out pertinent details that impact the Client.


Customer: “When can I expect the inspections to be completed on the Preventive Maintenance Program?”

Salesperson: “As planned, we will be complete by June 1st.”

Customer: “That’s no good.  I need those reports and data by mid-May.  Can you move that date?

Salesperson: “Sure.  May 15th is not a problem.”

Well, yes, it is in fact a problem.  In this instance, we did not check with the service manager.  Is May 15th date possible?  Maybe.  But if it’s not, the client already believes it will be done. If the reports are not finished by May 15th, the credibility with the client will suffer.

The best course would be to ask additional questions:

  • Why does the client need the reports earlier?
  • What is the Client willing to give up in order to get the reports earlier?
  • What are the consequences of the product not arriving by May 15th?

Never Tell a Big Lie to the Client.  Don’t lie to gain advantage.  The client will find out.

Admit to an Error.  Nobody likes owning up to doing something wrong.  The consequences of covering could be worse.  Don’t justify the fib.  Apologize.  Promise not to do it again and move on.


Client PersonalityClient AttitudeSales Tactic


  • Aggressive by nature
  • Will get in your face if they find you have lied.
  • Naturally skeptical
  • Not likely to accept at face value your apologies or explanations
  • Apologize
  • Take your time.
  • Don’t argue with them.
  • Actions over time
  • Be patient


  • Inclined to like you.
  • Makes it harder for them when they perceive that they’ve been betrayed.
  • Stronger emotional reaction 
  • Infringes on their worldview – World is a “good place”
  • Apologize
  • Work with them closely


  • Most reluctant to challenge you.
  • Wary of breach of trust – won’t bring it up directly
  • Simple direct apology
  • Promise to be completely honest in the future


  • Sit and stare at you.
  • Wait for you to react
  • Apology
  • Take time to see if they are comfortable with you again.  In fact, you may never be sure


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