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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.