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Why is the truth so hard to tell...


Sometimes I ask myself: “Why aren’t people comfortable with just telling the truth?”

We live across from a high school that was shut down a few years ago and moved to another area.

A few developers have been bidding for that prime piece of property for the last couple of years.

One finally made it through the bureaucracy of our local council and got ownership of the property for the purpose of turning it into an elder care housing facility.

Why is the truth so hard to tell blog imageFor about a year after buying the property, the developer fought the neighbours (including us) about all the parking issues and congestion that would come about from the proposed entry point of the facility, nearly directly in front of our house.

The street we live on is already so busy, that we and the neighbours put up a real fight...but we lost, the developers got their way.

Fast forward a year later and the developers had a "Get To Know The Neighbours" get-together with food, drinks and balloons for the kids.

The letter inviting us to come said: "We want to hear your feedback and how we can become a better neighbour and are open to making changes to our plans to address general concerns."

When I got that invitation, I said to my wife: "Why would they be asking for feedback if they already had their building permits and plans in place?"

Hoping for the possibility of change, we went to the "party" and the first thing they gave us was a bag with a survey saying: "We'd like to hear your feedback."

We went inside the club house where the get-together was taking place and the first thing I saw was the architectural plans on a big poster board.

The same entrance was there and everything else was there that we battled to have changed.

I asked one of the staff: "Why are you asking us for feedback on the property if the plans are already locked in?"

She said to me: "Well, it's really just a way for us to get to know the neighbours and to let them know they can refer anyone to us who would be interested in putting a deposit down on the new units that are going to be built."


They implied explicitly that they wanted our feedback and to hear our concerns, and the truth was that this get together was really part of their sales process to generate interest in the property before it gets built.

I walked home scratching my head and asking myself: "Why didn't they just tell us the truth, that this was an opportunity for those interested in possibly purchasing a unit rather than saying it was a 'feedback' opportunity."

I would have been perfectly fine if they had told us the TRUTH, instead of a "bait and switch" tactic.

Why has not telling the truth become socially acceptable when it comes to selling?

Why do companies still have to use "old school sales tactics" to try and make the sale?

Is our society at such a low point with trust where the means now justifies the end?

I don't know about you, but this wasn't the way I was brought up and it certainly isn't the way I'm bringing my kids up.

Telling the truth takes courage, especially when it comes to selling.

When you have the right mindset of authenticity and trust, ironic as it is, you make a lot more sales.


Because people can sense that you don't have a hidden agenda and they're willing to choose you over someone else primarily because you aren't "selling", instead you are creating trust.

To think the owner of that property company supported and approved their "hidden agenda" sales strategy is really disgusting.

If you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors, leave your hidden agenda behind and tell the truth...even better, help your prospects feel comfortable telling YOU the truth.

Would be interested in hearing your thoughts below....

To your success,

Aris Signature

21 Comments     Add Your Comments Here Email to a Friend

shubh, india
Thanks once again. Your ideas are simple great and
Very practical. Please don't stop sending me your
valuable emails.
Giuseppe Iacovelli, OZ
The truth will always set you free.

Often people are so confused and mixed-up on the inside that they are uncertain about what is the truth.......about life.....and what will set them free.
Craig Peace, Adelaide SA
Never a truer word has been spoken. As our parents told us & we told our kids tell the truth. It's so refreshing when it occurs in business situations & it should be the norm not the exception! Thanks for your emails I use them as an encouragement every chance I get.
Max Boronovskis, Australia
Name them and shame them Ari! As an Australian I want to hear who the company is just like I want to hear the stories about the companies with the right approach. Nice read!
Bryan, Walnut, California
Indeed Ari, if the customer or potential client does not have the truth, then how can they make the best decision for them in the buying process? It is our job as a Professional to bring that out, that is what they really want.
johnson, Kochi India
I believe in selling by telling the truth where I find my customers acceptance and further reference. Moreover being a Christian believer I am a bearer of testimony of Lord Jesus.

Much grace to your endeavors

Todd Ambrose, United States
I was raised that blame is better to give than to receive. That asking forgiveness was better than asking for permission.

It has been very difficult for me to change my sales approach.

Like an alcoholic fighting to not drink, I fight to not lie, cheat, exaggerate, mislead, mis-speak or all of the above.

Unfortunately, I believe people like being told a lie. The truth is to difficult for them to believe and often time to difficult for a salesman to enforce.
Richard Little, Modesto, California, USA
Great example Ari. The truth is is the best starting point and it is the ONLY point!
Bob Hilsmeier, Avon,OH USA
Excellent Blog,God was not making a "suggestion" when he said "you shall not lie".
TC , United States
Americans would not of voted for the new Healthcare Law if it there was full disclosure.

Political strategists are notorious for pouring sugar on the medicine.
Inga, Ontario, Canada
Beautifully said Ari, thank you!

It's not uncommon that I sense when I'm discussing a problem area with a potential client, that they are suspicious I'm 'just trying to make a sale'. It's like people expect to be lied to, which is so sad.
Bill Montgomery, Bothell, WA USA
I agree with you.

Your Trust Based Selling is the best training I have come across in 43 years in sales. I promote you whenever I get a chance.
Liz Jan, Annandale, VA USA
Hi Ari,

I have loved your strategy for several years and mustered up the courage to share it with my former boss who ended up letting me go two months ago.

I worked as a Kitchen & Bath designer at a new company. The young boss opened his store after months of demolition and preparation. When I could not produce 15-minute drawings on a new program for clients who were clear about their wish list, not only was he upset I didn't deliver, but more so when he didn't get the contract.

This continued for the duration of my stay - 8 months. He was not concerned about what the potential client wanted, he just wanted their money. He put me on the sales floor and I provided options, selling only one vanity set. He took over, talked up a fast storm to the customers and told them they could have anything within 10 weeks, still few sales. With the cabinets being assembled in the Ukraine, I really question their operation now.

Long story short - I am freelancing now and keep your wisdom in my heart and mind as I speak to people about my work - small homes that feel great. In tandem with Abraham-Hicks who teaches us about the Law of Attraction, your wisdom keeps it grounded and real.

In the last week or so, there's been more movement and interest and I am loving the opportunity to listen and speak from a place of authenticity, yielding, truth and helpfulness, making it a point to ask, ask and ask some more. . .

Thank you so much for presenting and anchoring this new paradigm; knowing your seeds are being planted around the world by like minds and hearts, helping to raise the quality of life for others.

with Respect and Gratitude,

Liz Jan

David Sheldon, Portland, Ontario, Canada
You are so accurate Ari. Bate and Switch...I hate it when it happens to me. It is so demoralizing when you see it...the companies that use this tactic think we as consumers are stupid...the joke is on them...they are stupid marketers.
Judy Brosky, Michigan, USA
As a financial advisor for 27 years, I now coach female fin'l advisors. Total openness and honesty is expected/demanded of me. How can a person sleep at night otherwise?
Relating to your clientele in a forthright way is so important. Skirting the truth or telling untruths helps no one.
The way you teach 'selling' is so right on target! That is how I learned my trade and how my client grew. Be truthful. Solve a problem, don't create one.
This resonates so strongly with women because it is so "not salesy"!
Thanx for sharing.
Jeanne Winter, Portland, Or
Andrew Fraser, South Africa
Hi Ari

I agree with you COMPLETELY. It is the lies that kept me out of sales for many years. Now I just go with the truth & if it works it works and if not then so be it. Sadly people now take what us salespeople say and discount it by 75% to get their version of what the truth might be so when you come with the truth and then discount that you are often left with nothing. That in turn means you don't get the appointment! I am MUCH more comfortable with the truth and no meeting than any form of lieing.

Consequently ALL my sales are relationship driven so it takes longer but it's MUCH better.

Thanks for bringing good old fashioned values back to the world of sales!

jp, montreal
The bait and switch is not cool and definitely not professional.
They could have boasted the merites of what they were all about.

as for the people being opposed to a seniors home.... they arent shinning in the light either....

it actually shameful.
how can we sell people on the merits of being moral in a society of complainers. It was a school before... nice example to their children.

I belive in honor. Being straight forward and being successful through integrity.
Joy Brittan, South Africa
Unfortunately this is what the public expect from realtors/developers because of people like this, but I reckon you must just keep on being honest and it also gets around.
David Walshe, Sydney, NSW
Nice story, Ari.
It beggars belief that so many sales organisations still haven't cottoned on to how sick and tired consumers are of spin, manipulation, half-truths and straight-out lies. Clearly, scrupulous honesty and transparency is becoming the new "edge" in winning trust and getting sales.
Anna Ishak, Australia
Hi Ari,

Thank you so much for your email. It is so easy to get into the habit of 'disguising' the truth or putting a different spin on it to sound more attractive when in fact selling is all about relationships. Thank you for the timely reminder.

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