The Best Policy in Business: Honesty
It is tempting to do or say whatever it takes to close a sale or influence customers, but honesty is the best policy in business. Yes, it sounds cheesy and is easy to poke holes in when taken to extremes. What’s the harm in a little lie?
A lie is a bet that the customer won’t find out, but these days customers research- they Google everything, read reviews, and ask friends for advice. After the public outcry from the 2008 recession, consumer protection organizations popped up everywhere and localities made policies and regulations as an attempt at oversight. The truth has a way of coming to light.
When the truth surfaces, whether that’s before or after the transaction, the customers is likely to hit the review websites and kill your referral base. When that happens, attracting customers takes more effort and money. In contrast, a happy customer singing the company’s praises supports a heathy sales stream.
Leading with the truth heads off issues. No one or thing is perfect. Shortcomings and mistakes are bound to happen. Lead with the truth then directly follow it up with a solution when issues arise. Customers are likely to respect and value the honesty.
Last but not least let’s all remember the Golden Rule or better still the Silver Rule, "do not do to others as you would not have them do to you".