On Truth

” You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You?” barks Colonel Nathan R. Jessup in the movie “A Few Good Men.”

Many times, people do not want to hear or can not handle the truth. One of my trusted advisors posted on FaceBook that one of his clients could not handle the truth.

When clients can’t handle the truth or receive news they do not like there are different ways they can react.

When given catastrophic news physiatrist say there are at least five levels of grief. Many of you may know or have experienced them. The five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are a part of the framework.

From the post by my friend, it appears that this client went right to the anger part of the stages.

Told that they could not participate in an activity, this beleaguered client began to threaten the reputation of the advisor. Frankly, the advisor was taken by surprise and is upset enough to share the experience with me. Something he rarely does.

I have an acquaintance that has their house listed with another agent. She is not happy with the marketing that company is doing to sell her home and she asked for a consultation with the intent to use my services.

The location is beautiful and the house that was built in the late eighties. I know it was the pride of the neighborhood and then time took its toll.

Unattended maintenance and the effects of a few hurricanes are bringing this once majestic home to the point of looking like one of Mike Tyson’s opponents back in the day. Eyes swollen, legs wobbly, Vaseline forced into cuts to stop the bleeding. You get the picture.

Sitting down with any client I vow to be forthright and frank with them.

Their choice is to significantly reduce the price of the house or to do the required repairs and painting to bring the house up to snuff. The seller wants to extract the most value from their home as the proceeds are part of their legacy to their children.

I was fortunate in that this client started at the bargaining stage, went quickly through a bout of mild depression and finally to acceptance.

They saw the wisdom of increasing the value of their house by getting the repairs completed.

At the time of this article, we are getting quotes and scheduling repairs.

Just as my advisor friend is a truth teller, someone that explains the reality of the situation, I won’t sugar coat the truth.

And why? Because we both know that to get the best results for our clients we must tell it like it is.

Business Rule #5: Tell it like it is

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