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Without the truth you have nothing

FOR years, hotel bathrooms have been asking me to ‘Save the Planet’. And there are hanging signs asking me to use my towels several times so that “millions of gallons of water” can be saved and the earth’s eco-system can be realigned. Now I ask you: Does that hotel want to save the planet, or save a few bucks? Who thinks “planet?” Who thinks, “a few bucks?” Why can’t they just be honest and tell me that I can reduce their operating costs a bit if I reduce my towel usage, and it’s also good for the environment? Why can’t they just be honest with me? I photographed a business sign I saw in a shopping centre parking lot in Coos Bay, Oregon. It read, “We can’t change the world, but we can change your oil”. Their business was booming, and their customers were smiling. Mission statements mean nothing. Companies tell you how great they want to become and how great they want to treat their customers – and then they treat their people with disrespect. Most CEOs can’t recite their company mission statement. Giant corporations and their accounting firms have gone bankrupt because they lied, omitted, shredded, or manipulated the truth. Their CEOs are in jails for lying and cheating. Airlines? I don’t need to go into an explanation, that’s how pathetic their “truth” has become. Politicians? Ditto. Actually they’re worse than airlines, and maybe the worst of the worst, and the lowest of the low. When I ask my audiences, “How many of you think that all politicians lie”, every hand goes up. Is that sad or what? Former president Bill Clinton lied about sex. You probably have too. All the other liars in congress got together and wanted to throw him out of office for lying. How hypocritical. Other politicians – at all levels – when called to tell the truth, suddenly lose their memory of what happened. Or worse, invoke the Fifth Amendment, and chose not to incriminate themselves. It’s another form of lying – withholding truth. It’s interesting that these same politicians who lie pass laws compelling others to tell the truth, or face consequences. America’s ‘Truth-in-Lending’ law has helped consumers immensely. It’s sad that such a law has to be written. You would think the people responsible for lending would just be honest. Honesty is a scary sales word. Truth is a scary word. People fear having to face these words. I know I have. And just so we understand each other, I’m no perfect example of piety – far from it. Many of the lessons and examples set here are from the music I had to face from my own forms of untruth. And just so we’re on the same page about truth and lies… “Omission” is a lie. “For their own good” is a lie. “Didn’t want to hurt them” is a lie. “Small lie” is a lie. “Hiding facts” is a lie. Any questions? It’s one of the Ten Commandments, yet men of the cloth lie. Telling the whole truth takes character, conviction, and courage. Telling the whole truth takes ethics, morality, honesty, and full disclosure. That doesn’t seem hard on the surface, but apparently no-one these days is willing to walk a mile to return a penny. That’s how president Lincoln got the nickname, Honest Abe. You’ll never hear anyone say, ‘Honest Bill’, or ‘Honest George’. They have other nicknames attached to their virtues. There’s an old saying that goes, “How can you tell when a salesman is lying? Answer: His lips are moving.” That does not speak well for the reputation of salespeople. Every salesperson, every company, seeks to build relationships with their customers. At the apex is truth. It’s how to keep relationships together, and why they fall apart. No truth, no trust. The lack of truth makes trust fall apart. Once you lie, and someone catches you, or even thinks it, you will spend an eternity trying to regain trust. Either at home, or at work…maybe especially at home. When someone says, “I’ve lost my trust in you, or I’ve lost my faith in you”, it’s because they doubt your ability to tell the truth. They will say, “I can’t believe a word you say,” because they have caught you lying before, and believe you’ll do it again. Loss of faith comes from lack of truth. Loss of trust comes from lack of truth. Loss of faith and trust are symptoms. Lack of truth is the problem. Faith and trust stem from truth. I am not your mother extolling the virtues of telling the truth. I am Jiminy Cricket, making you aware of the consequences. In sales, and in life. The good news is that you control your destiny. That’s why you got in sales in the first place. If you want a few truth quotes, go to www.gitomer.com, register if you’re a first time user, and enter TRUTH in the GitBit box. By Jeffrey Gitomer.

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