It's Easier to Sell Something when You List the Faults

Here’s a business paradox for you. Your sales will increase when you tell people what’s wrong with what you’ve got. Including if what you’re selling is you and your services.


This is mostly unheard of in the business world. Everyone in business is constantly fronting. This is a world full of mega-fucking-huge egos resting on inflated claims of grandeur. No way anybody’s gonna admit what they’ve got for sale is not perfect, especially if it one’s personal service.

But you see, your buyers, they’re sniffing. They’re constantly sniffing, looking for the catch. What’s the catch here? They simply can’t rest until they find it. Your buyers just won’t be ready to make a deal until they can figure out what the real drawback might be with what you’re offering.

So PUT THEIR MINDS TO REST. Tell them what could possibly be wrong for them with your deal. Lay out the faults and limitations of what you’re offering. This does a couple amazing things for you. It allows your customer to feel like he can truly evaluate the deal and be in a better position to make a decision. That’s huge. HUGE. But most importantly, it’s honest; and therefore it boosts your credibility considerably. And, it’s shocking. You have just separated and elevated yourself above the rest of the snake oil salesmen out there. You are a credible source of info in a world of bloodsuckers. Your business customers will cling to you for safety like a 4 year old clings to his blanket. It will no longer matter much what kind of claims your competitor promises, because your customers just don’t know that they can rely on those claims, but they know that they can rely on you. And that puts money in your pocket and stability to your career.

The truth does pay because the truth is valuable. Credibility is valuable. Even more so when there’s more money on the line.

And know this, if the truth will actually kill your deal, then make damn sure the deal is killed. Because otherwise your reputation will be fucked afterwards. The long term harm you cause yourself will outweigh the short term benefits.

Some examples please:

I did this all the time when I sold commercial buildings, like an apartment complex. “The pipes are crap in these units, they need to be replaced. Over here there’s some fucking pigs in this unit, their carpet smells like cat piss, and I think they literally have someone sleeping in the walk in closet. But fuck all that, the building cashflows very well as it is, rents are way under market so you’re looking at much better future cashflow income as tenants turn over. And most important, that big retail development around the corner is NICE and will attract better quality tenants to the area and even better retail, which will attract even better quality tenants, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, because this building was so poorly managed by the previous owner, there’s a lot of work to do and you’ll have to deal with the scum of society living here for the time being. But that’s why it’s such a good deal in this area, and besides, your management company will deal with the riff raff while you turn the property around and reap the rewards in an improving location.”
Guys, that’s how you get someone to move $3 Million out of his bank account and leave a big fucking smile on his face about it. There’s a lot going on here (boldness, clarity, leadership) but notice how important honesty is to the equation. Sane people just don’t make moves with that kind of money until they feel like they’ve got a good evaluation of the situation. Pretending that there are no problems with the property won’t make your client feel more comfortable. Your honesty is so appreciated because it is so scarce.

Let’s say you’re very young and a little wet behind the ears in an industry you’re trying to stake a claim in. When people see you, they immediately dismiss you, as you obviously physically don’t have enough experience for a customer to feel they can comfortably rely on you. Pretending you have more experience than you do isn’t going to make people feel comfortable with you, it will only drop your credibility even lower. I was in this position when I began trying to be a commercial real estate broker when I was 22. People looked at me and wondered where my father is. Obviously this kid doesn’t expect to represent anyone on a $6 Million transaction. But I did. I didn’t bother trying to rep that I’ve got more experience than others in the business, that would be a joke. After many mishaps and frustrations, I eventually pitched myself as an untamed young wild bull full of ferocious power and energy. I will make mistakes and I might run roughshod over delicate issues at times, but nothing can stop me. My eyes are focused and I will not give up until I achieve my goal. Even if bullets are used to take me down, I’ll keep going until I can no longer physically move. And even then, I will look for ways to move forward somehow. It was clear that I was a hardcore maniac. And that is why my clients wanted me on their team, and not on another’s team. That is why they were comfortable with me. I was the only bastard crazy enough to truly take care of them when times get rough. I didn’t need to pretend I didn’t have any faults. I was more exciting to work with than a lazier older man who trains his clients not to bother him after 7pm. They accepted my shortcomings, to benefit from my strengths. And besides, with that approach I gained a ton of experience very quickly, and I became even tighter. My value soared and so did my income.

Liars will laugh and say honesty is for suckers. Those poor fools…