"If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” (Mark Twain)
I heard the same advice from my father when I was young. His words were, “If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember who you told what.”
In both cases these mentoring words of advice apply to both our business lives as well as our personal ones. We can employ this type of advice very well in our marketing and in our business practices. Keep it simple; be truthful. Then we always will know that what we have said to each individual is what we have said to everyone and is true.
We have all heard the claims of various other people in their marketing. Today a presentation of theirs claims one set of accomplishments. Tomorrow we may hear a slightly different version. Which is accurate? Maybe it is the version that we hear next week or next year.
Sometimes the people making the statements don’t realize that they are reinventing the truth from time to time. Sometimes they know exactly what they are doing and saying. Perhaps a small exaggeration is intentional; sometimes it may be an accidental slip of the tongue. Often it is not only intentional; it is designed for effect to press a point or an advantage in a moment of a presentation.
So what does this practice get us in our marketing? Often we are marketing to people who we know quite well, and they know us as completely. Sometimes we make presentations to the same person or groups who have heard us previously. Do we really believe that our prospects or audience are dumb or easily misled? Do we really believe that people may not remember what we told them previously?
It is imperative that we make our marketing truthful each and every time we provide presentations to everyone. Our prospects, and our customers, will remember the differences in our claims from one presentation to another. Whether it is a prospect or a customer, failing to tell the truth at all times can be devastating to our marketing results.
What happens when we change something in our offerings? If we change the products or services that we offer, we must make the changes clear and distinct to our prospects. We must also make the same effort to explain the differences to our current customers as well as customers that we have not retained. Everyone must be informed, and the changes must be clarified as to the detail and rational of the changes.
Honesty and truthfulness will always bring better results than deceit of any level. Confusion, apathy, and anger follow the discovery that anyone has not been truthful to their prospects and customers. No one wants to be deceived; it makes people believe that they have been used and not in a good manner.