“Oh hang on, I need to take this call”.
A friendly chat with the groundskeeper of a place I used to live. He pulls out his phone, listens, and says:
“Sorry, I can’t meet today – I’m not at home, I had to go to town for an errand”.
I look around me at the meadows, his horses, and his home just behind him.
Hm. a liar.
Ah but, it’s a little white lie, isn’t it?
Perhaps, but from that moment on, the trust I used to have for him broke, and never got restored. Not in a big ‘he’s unreliable, avoid at all cost’ way, but enough to make me wary about what he said and did.
Always a feeling of ‘is it true?’
The other day, talking about the way politicians these days think nothing of pathological lying, someone said: “But isn’t truthfulness something installed by Christianity, meaning it’s only a social construct?”
Well, no. Truthfulness is an evolutionary imperative, no matter how ‘cleverly’ followers of corrupt politicians try to justify lying.
Humanity NEEDS trust. It couldn’t have survived without it.
Imagine: thousands of years ago, I put on my bearskin and step out of my cave.
A fine day for gathering berries.
I grab my club and set off, and on my way to the valley, I run into another caveman.
“Seen any lions in the valley, last few days?”, I ask.
“Nah, says the caveman. It’s been quiet for days, you’re safe”.
Imagine if at the end of the day I’d come home with scratch marks and bites, because there WERE lions, and I barely made it out alive…
Don’t you think the first thing I’d do is crack my neighbour’s skull with my club… someone who thinks nothing of sending me into a pack of lions?
Of course! It’s survival, baby. Evolution doesn’t care about values, religious or otherwise.
Evolution cares about just one thing: Survive.
And whether it’s on the level of threats in the wilderness or telling white lies, you better believe that other people have a radar for truthfulness and reliability.
Which is damn important if you want to land clients, because the moment there’s even the slightest lack of trust, there’s no sale.
How to use this principle in order to get more sales?
Speak nothing but full truth.
You’ll be amazed what it does for the level of trust your prospects have in you.
Also published on Medium.