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Prospects lie to us on a daily basis. Some do it unconsciously, some do it on purpose, and some do it accidentally. Whatever the cause, the result hurts both the salesperson and the prospect. For the salesperson, the misinformation will limit their ability to propose the ideal combination of products and services for the prospect. For the prospect, the misinformation will limit the products, services, and overall strategy available to them. If we know that prospects lie and do not address that reality in our sales process, we are only hurting ourselves. With a few tweaks to our sales approach, we can dig down to the truth and offer greater value.

The challenge is we like to believe people are honest. As talented advisors, we don’t want to believe anyone would lie to us. As human beings, we approach every conversation expecting to hear the truth. This combination of factors makes us more casual in our approach with prospects, and that hurts the final outcome. Even when we do suspect the prospect is delivering false information, we are uncomfortable with the idea of suggesting the potential client is not being truthful or is outright lying.

The uncomfortable reality around trust isn’t the only factor that influences our interactions with others, however. In “Talking to Strangers,” Malcolm Gladwell explains how our assumptions and habits influence our interactions with strangers.

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