White Lies Clients Tell You When They Choose Your Competition

Have you ever thought that the reason the client gave you for choosing a competitor didn’t sound like the truth? Did it sound like a bald-faced lie? Or was it like the end of a bad date — “It’s not you; it’s me”?

Here are five white lies clients tell you, along with the underlying reality:

  1. The white lie: Your proposal was good but we need to spread the work around.
    The truth: Your representative is brilliant, but we hate him. He is inflexible and makes the staff lose their desire to live.
  2. The white lie: I thought you guys do the best work, but my staff recommended the competitor.
    The truth: Two of my technical people said you screwed up the last project and ran over budget, and no one would listen to us.
  3. The white lie: We are in a holding pattern right now and are trying to reorganize the project.
    The truth: We don’t have any money — and if we did, we are not sure we would spend it with you.
  4. The white lie: We have decided to review all the proposals again.
    The truth: Your proposal was not very clear (neither was your project manager), and we are using your proposal as a last resort, as a worst-case scenario.
  5. The white lie: You will get the next one.
    The truth: Someone has a better relationship with us than you do and will have to screw up before you have a shot.

A white lie is polite way of saying “We don’t like doing business with you.” Having a good relationship, giving a clear presentation and making sure your clients feel heard and appreciated are three assets that the most successful have in common.

A lot of very talented people and organizations are overlooked because they think being the best is good enough to win. Unfortunately, people don’t choose what’s best; they choose what they are the most comfortable with, whether it is the best or not.

One Response to White Lies Clients Tell You When They Choose Your Competition

  1. Lea says:

    A very thoughtful post , it it is the truth mostly in our society today. And truth hurts. I was really touched by this post. And really, it had nothing at all to do with me.

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