In ancient Greece, the famed philosopher Diogenes walked the daylight streets with a lantern in search of an honest man. In your work as a financial advisor, do you ever feel the same way– that way too many clients have lost touch with the truth? If so, you’re not alone.
In the sales process, prospects often tell “white lies” to deflect you. They say they can’t meet with you because of their doctor’s appointments (no such thing), their existing coverage (no such policy) or their existing advisor (no such brother-in-law). If you do get to meet with them, they may tell more serious lies, such as hiding medical conditions, overstating assets or hiding their true motivations for taking your time.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The vast majority of clients are truthful. But the lying happens often enough to get under your skin. In fact, as one agent commented, “You don’t know whether to laugh or to get mad at clients for thinking you are stupid.” So what do you do when a prospect or client lies to you? The answer depends on your assessment of the magnitude–and context–of the lie.