The truth about truth: No truth, no nothing.

The truth about truth: No truth, no nothing.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at


The truth about truth: No truth, no nothing.

For years,hotel bathrooms have been asking me to “Save the Planet.” And there’shanging signs asking me to use my towels several times so that”millions of gallons of water” can be saved and the earth’s eco-systemcan be realigned.

Now I ask you:Does that hotel want to save the planet, or save a few bucks? Whothinks “planet?” Who thinks, “a few bucks?” Why can’t they just behonest, and tell me that I can reduce their operating costs a bit if Ireduce my towel usage, and it’s also good for the environment? Whycan’t they just be honest with me?

I photographeda business sign I saw in a shopping center parking lot in Coos Bay,Oregon. It read, “We can’t change the world, but we can change youroil.” Their business was booming, and their customers were smiling.

Mission statements mean nothing. Companiestell you how great they want to become and how great they want to treattheir customers – and then they treat their people with disrespect.Most CEO’s can’t recite their company mission statement.

Giantcorporations and their accounting firms have gone bankrupt because theylied, omitted, shredded, or manipulated the truth. Their CEO’s are injails for lying and cheating.

Airlines? I don’t need to go into an explanation, that’s how pathetic their “truth” has become.

Politicians?Ditto. Actually they’re WORSE than airlines, and maybe the worst of theworst, and the lowest of the low. When I ask my audiences, “How many ofyou think that all politicians lie?” EVERY HAND GOES UP. Is that sad orwhat?

Formerpresident Bill Clinton lied about sex. You probably have too. All theother liars in congress got together and wanted to throw him out ofoffice for lying. Hello!

Otherpoliticians – at all levels – when called to tell the truth, suddenlylose their memory of what happened. Or worse, invoke the FifthAmendment, and chose not to incriminate themselves. It’s another formof lying – withholding truth.

Interestingthat these same politicians who lie pass laws compelling others to tellthe truth, or face consequences. The “Truth-in-Lending” law has helpedconsumers immensely. Sad that such a law has to be written. You wouldthink that the people responsible for lending would just be honest.

Honesty is a scary sales word.

Truth is a scary word.

People fear having to face these words.

I know I have.

And just so weunderstand each other, I’m no perfect example of piety – far from it.Many of the lessons and examples set here are from the music I had toface from my own forms of untruth.

And just so we’re on the same page about truth and lies:

“Omission” is a lie.

“For their own good” is a lie.

“Didn’t want to hurt them” is a lie.

“Small lie” is a lie.

“Hiding facts” is a lie.

Any questions?

It’s one of the Ten Commandments, yet men of the cloth lie.

Telling the whole truth takes character, conviction, and courage.

Telling the whole truth takes ethics, morality, honesty, and full disclosure.

That doesn’tseem hard on the surface, but apparently no one these days is willingto walk a mile to return a penny. That’s how President Lincoln got thenickname, “Honest Abe.” You’ll never hear anyone say, “Honest Bill,” or”Honest George.” They have other nicknames attached to their virtues.

There’s an oldsaying that goes, “How can you tell when a salesman is lying? Answer:His lips are moving.” That does not speak well for the reputation ofsalespeople.

Everysalesperson, every company, seeks to build relationships with theircustomers. At the apex is truth. It’s how to keep relationshipstogether, and why they fall apart.

No truth, no trust.

The lack oftruth makes trust fall apart. Once you lie, and someone catches you, oreven thinks it, you will spend an eternity trying to regain trust.Either at home, or at work. Maybe especially at home.

When someonesays, “I’ve lost my trust in you, or I’ve lost my faith in you, it’sbecause they doubt your ability to tell the truth. They will say, “Ican’t believe a word you say,” because they have caught you lyingbefore, and believe you’ll do it again.

Loss of faithcomes from lack of truth. Loss of trust comes from lack of truth. Lossof faith and trust are symptoms. Lack of truth is the problem. Faithand trust stem from truth.

I am not yourmother extolling the virtues of telling the truth. I am Jiminy Cricket,making you aware of the consequences. In sales, and in life.

The good news is that you control your destiny. That’s why you got in sales in the first place.

If you want a few truth quotes, go to, register if you’re a first time user, and enter TRUTH in the GitBit box.