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Why Lie When The Truth Sounds Better

24 March 2023

FINANCIAL ADVISERS – Do you know the answer?

You’re in a client meeting; it’s all going fabulous.

Your client is asking you question after question, and you are knocking them out of the park—you are a financial advice ninja!

You feel good because you know the answers.

Your client feels good because they can see that you know the answers, and that is building their trust in you.

And then a question comes, and you’re only 75% sure of the answer. What to do?

Tell them you don’t know the answer.

But if everyone in the room is measuring your worth by whether you can answer technical questions, saying you don’t know isn’t a good look.

So instead, you have a stab at it—after all, you’re on a roll.

But then they ask a follow-up question.

And another….

Suddenly, you are in deep trouble and faced with a worse dilemma.

Continue having a stab at the answers, but it’s becoming more obvious that you’re now floundering.

Fess up that you don’t know the answer, but that means acknowledging that at best you guessed and at worst you misled them.

Either route is bad. Really bad.

So what is the problem? Do we need to brush up on our technical knowledge?


It all went wrong at the beginning when we allowed our pride and ego to make our decisions.

If, when asked the question at the outset, we’d simply said…

‘You know what? I’m only 75% sure on that one, so I’ll check on it and come back to you. I’ll ring you at 2 pm this afternoon with the answer.’

That satisfies the client, and you’ve closed off the route to any follow-up questions on that subject.

We all move on. Satisfied. Professional.

And even better, if you ring them dead on 2 pm (not 2:05 or 4:30) and say….

‘Hi, thanks for coming in this morning. I promised you I’d ring at 2 pm with that answer for you and here it is…..’

The client will look at their watch, see that it is 2 pm, and forever log in their brain that you did what you said you were going to do.

Their opinion of your trustworthiness and reliability has gone up more than it would have done if you’d known the technical answer in the first place.

Remember, your client isn’t really testing you to see whether you know the answers.

They’re testing whether you have access to the answers and more importantly…

Whether you do what you say you are going to do. – Software, Training & Business Services for Financial Planners


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