Sometimes it seems like the biggest liar is the one who grabs the most business. He gets the big profits, grabs the market, and supposedly rides into the sunset with his new found millions.
This is often the case. We live in a world where those who excel sell the sizzle, not the steak. Their product or service might not be the best, but to hear THEM tell it, it’s a revolution that will change the world forever.
You, on the other hand, were raised to tell the truth. If you told a fib around grandma you might get your mouth washed out with soap.
So is honesty the best policy in business?
The fact is if you’re up front and honest in business, you may get taken to the cleaners by shrewd operators who stop at nothing to get their way and make bigger sales.
Yes, you could throw in the towel and simply play the game their way. But let’s face it. Lying and obfuscating isn’t your style. You like being up front and honest with people. It avoids problems down the road. Customers are happier and suppliers trust you.
The best solution is probably for you to stay the way you are. Not always, but often, those who play shoddy end up losing in the end. Customers quickly figure out their products aren’t as good as advertised. Fellow professionals and business associates get tired of being taken advantage of. And the business that plays fast and loose with the rules starts to decline.
How To Be Honest and Still Win
The old saying is nice guys finish last. Make no mistake, you’ve got to work hard and play for keeps. Business is fueled by competition. Do your damndest to introduce outstanding products that address real concerns of the customer. Then treat your customers and those in the industry the way you want to be treated.
The bottom line is business works better when people aren’t at each others’ throats. Employees give 100% when they work for a leader who treats them well. Suppliers and associates give extra to a business that strives to benefit their interests.
Be Nice, But Don’t Give Away The Store
It’s one thing to be polite, honest, and up front. It’s another to let someone or some company bully you into taking a disadvantageous deal. These days everyone wants a discount. It’s up to you to explain your product or service is higher quality or more innovative and discounts can’t be offered.
Free samples may be expected in your industry, but keep them reasonable. Any sample given away should be rewarded with an order. If not, no more samples.
Be Aware of The “Your Stuff Sucks” Trick
You don’t have to be in business long before you run into hard chargers who insist theirs is the best in the world while your products leave a lot to be desired. Invariably this guy wants you to go out of your way to help him, all because he is better and deserves your gratitude.
Don’t fall for it. Smile, be nice, and politely refuse. Now you’re holding your ground while not giving up on your values. It won’t be long until you are grabbing more of the market and enjoying honestly won profits you can rely on for years to come.