Avoid Absolutes and Empty Claims

Real salespeople don’t tell lies, so be careful about offering absolutes.


Although Toyota is one of my clients, I find it helpful to ask other audiences I address the following question: “How many of you have the number one Toyota dealership in the country, located right in your town?” Nearly all of the hands go up. “Isn’t that amazing? You each have the number one Toyota dealership in your town. How can that be?” Then we discuss what being “number one” could mean.

Does it mean that the dealership has the:

  • Greatest number of car units sold?
  • Largest lot? Highest profitability?
  • Most inventory?
  • Most salespeople?
  • Most customers?


Best or Biggest

Similarly, when you see a claim Biggest Dealer in Ohio, this could mean that the dealer sells the most cars, has the highest sales volume, generates the most revenue or after-tax revenue, or simply has the heaviest owner. When you use an absolute term, back it up with solid data. Otherwise, your claim can actually drive away potential clients.


Avoid Expressing Opinion as Fact

You could inform someone that you have 55,000 employees, which makes you the largest employer in the State. That is verifiable. If you claim that customers prefer you 2 to 1 over the competition, then you need to reference a professionally administered, unbiased survey that confirms your claim. If you don’t present evidence, you’re blowing smoke with general statements. When you express opinions as facts, you lose trust, especially when you are dealing with a highly conscientious person who relies on solid evidence. Never express an opinion as fact.


Reprint permission granted by Dennis Fox, The Client Development Institute.

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