Ever hear of the word "truthiness?" If not, just wait! It was voted the 2005 Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society. This new word, which first appeared on the Colbert Report on the Comedy Channel means:
"The quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true."
As I read the definition, I immediately thought of Ron. When I was a sales manager, a number of my reps suffered from truthiness, but without a doubt he had the worst case.
Each time we'd go through his prospect list, he'd say: "Bob says he'll
order from us as soon as he gets through with that big project" or
"Sally said that the timing will be right in three months. I know
she'll get one then."
This went on for months and months. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't convince him it was all wishful thinking.
As you can imagine, those opportunities never turned into anything
concrete. Ron's failure in that job could have been prevented if he'd just faced into the brutal truth and acted accordingly.
Right now, one of my clients has a whole slew of salespeople struggling with truthiness. The reps believe that sales today is all about "relationship, relationship, relationship." They're really, really good friends with their customers and proud of it.
Yet at the same time, their competitors (who aren't nearly as well liked) are steadily picking away at their marketshare. How can that be?
These reps aren't asking the tough questions to find out. Instead, they'd much rather believe that it's because their pricing is too high or their promotions aren't good enough.
After all, that's what their customers tell them. And they keep blindly believing that relationships are the only things that matter when so many other things are going on around them that are impacting their sales success.
Sometimes it's scary to look at what's really true. It can literally
shake you to the core when you finally see how you've been deceiving
Don't let truthiness rule your life. Face into the tough stuff and deal with it. You'll be much more successful in the long run.