Your customers are going to lie to you

There are two reasons I didn’t go out on a date until I was 20. 1. My parents wouldn’t allow it and 2. The pool of eligible men was miniscule. But make no mistake: reason number one trumped reason number two, rendering it null and void.

Of course, that didn’t stop guys from asking me out. Not many, but there were a few. And do you know what I told them? As you might have guessed, it certainly wasn’t the truth. “No, {shakes head} my parents won’t let me date yet,” certainly wasn’t what they heard. I’d opt instead for a face-saving, “I’m really busy,” “I’m focusing on my studies,” or some other line of total crap.

Bottom line: I was embarrassed that I wasn’t dating but too proud to admit it.

Much like a nineteen-year-old me, your customers (and potential customers) won’t always tell you the truth. Or they’ll tell you half truths. And often for the same reasons I trotted out to potential suitors.

Never presume your customers are being completely candid with you. You’ve got to earn their trust, listen and ask insightful questions. The truth is often you can help them, even when they don’t think you can. But you have to understand the real problem before you can offer solutions.

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