How To Be A Good Liar
Written by Dave Lorenzo on October 3, 2016 / Communication / Podcasts
How To Be A Good Liar
Lying is bad when you do it to hurt someone else. But there are three specific occasions when it is perfectly acceptable to lie. That’s the topic of discussion today on the 60 Second Sales Show.
Here is the transcript from this show:
Hi there, everyone. Welcome to another edition of The 60 Second Sale Show. I’m Dave Lorenzo, and here with us we have our fantastic and talented producer, Nancy Pop. Good morning, Nancy. How are you today?
Good morning. I’m doing great. How about you?
I am absolutely fantastic. Today we have a great topic we’re going to talk about. The topic is how to be a good liar. Now, Nancy, I know you are a fabulous and virtuous person, but have you ever had occasion to tell someone a lie? Even just a little white lie, like a little fib?
Of course. It’s only natural.
It’s only natural. Of course. Now, when, for example, would you tell someone something that wasn’t true?
I think the first instance that comes to mind is when maybe you’re running late to work or something, because you slept in, and you’re embarrassed to just admit that you slept in. Something small like that.
Right. You’re embarrassed. It’s kind of a face saving move. It’s like a self-preservation move. That’s one of the times when all of us have, in the past, every one of us, have told a lie. We’ve told something that wasn’t true. We’re going to get into the three times when we tell lies. The three most frequent times when we tell lies. We’re going to talk about why we do it, and we’re going to talk about how to do it in a way that is not going to do damage to someone else. Really, in the end, when it comes to lying, and this is such an explosive topic. When it comes to lying, the reason that we teach our kids not to lie, the reason that we’re told not to lie, is because we’re afraid we’re going to do harm to someone else.
If it weren’t to do harm to anyone, would it be okay to lie? Don’t answer that. We’re going to get to that in just a moment. Before we do, I want to cover just a couple of things that are going on today that have made this topic kind of top of mind for me, and a couple of other things that I’ve noticed that really have gotten under my skin. Everybody seems to like it, Nancy, when I kind of use this as a cathartic experience. I use this platform. I use the 60 Second Sale Show as a cathartic experience to kind of clear the air and make myself feel better. I’ll tell you, frankly, it’s cheaper than therapy, and I don’t mind doing it.
Today, one of the things that I am absolutely livid about is, I posted something on Instagram. Those of you who follow me on Instagram, @TheDaveLorenzo, I posted one of these pithy quotes. I used to quote other people. Now, I just quote myself. It’s fun, and nobody can dispute the source, right? I quote myself, and yesterday, I quoted myself, and in the quote, I made a typo. It was a typo. Not a big deal. Quite frankly, I make a lot of typos. I write really quickly. If you go to DaveLorenzo.com, that site has been up for, like, three months. I’ve got 105 articles on there already. I write a lot, and when you write as quickly as I do, you’re going to make mistakes.
I get out of the shower yesterday. Something comes to mind. I put up a little pithy quote. I drop it in there, and I post it. 26, 27 people like it in the first 10 minutes. I don’t pay any attention to it. This morning, I go to post something else, or I posted a video last night after that. I go to post something else this morning, I notice some guy makes a comment, some jerk makes a comment, and the comment is that I’ve damaged my credibility irreparably by making the typo. Now, my friends, the typo was, I was missing an apostrophe. I missed an apostrophe. It’s not like I completely blew a word. I missed an apostrophe. If that damages my credibility with you, honestly, you’re in the wrong place. Typos are free. They’re my gift to the world, all right? It’s just a little something extra I throw in there.
Seriously. If that type of thing, if a little mistake, if a typo is going to do that much damage to my credibility in your eyes, then you’re not familiar with my body of work. You haven’t spent any time really getting to know me. We don’t have a relationship. You need to just move on and get your sales and business strategy and marketing fulfillment somewhere else, because I’m not your guy. My point, people, is, the small stuff is unimportant. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Typos, sure, do your best to avoid them, but are you going to spend an hour and a half proofreading a piece that took you 20 minutes to write? No. You’re not going to do that. Don’t sweat the small stuff. The people who take shots at you are demonstrating their own emotional baggage. They’re putting their own emotional baggage on display. You can’t be concerned about that. You’ve got to live your life. You’ve got to move on. When somebody takes a shot at something like that, something as insignificant as a typo, you’ve got to let it go. Just let it go and move on. It’s about them. It’s not about you.
Now, to that point, and getting closer, getting more on our topic for today, I want to talk about the big debate that was Monday night. If you’re time shifting, and you’re listening to this months later, we are two days after the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. If you’re listening to this months down the road, I wish I was there now to figure out what’s going to happen with this election, because it is absolutely crazy. Nancy, did you happen to catch any of that debate two nights ago?
I watched all of it.
Did you watch all of it? What stuck out for you in the debate? What resonated with you? Not necessarily an issue that got you fired up, but just the overall ambiance, the experience of this debate. What stood out for you?
Overall, I think it was just the difference in their demeanor, and how they presented themselves. I feel like Trump was very defensive but aggressive, and then Hillary was just so calm and, like she had been doing this for years.
I agree with you. I found the same thing. These are two of the most distrusted, according to the polls, they’re two of the most distrusted candidates in history. They routinely, throughout the course of the evening, one or the other was calling on the other person to be fact checked. They were calling the other person out essentially as a liar, right there on national television, in front of everyone. I’m watching the debate, and I’m Tweeting, and I’m texting with friends, and at one point, it was late in the debate, and at one point Trump gave an answer that was just a word salad. It was just a mish-mosh of things that he said that, to me, they were disjointed and they really made no sense. I sent that to a friend, I texted it to a friend, and his text back was one word. It was a one line sentence. His sentence was, “Salesman.”
Now, that hit home with me. That really hit home with me, because I sell every day. We all sell. When we have ideas, we have to sell our ideas to other people, so I’m thinking to myself, “At least in the eyes of this guy, my friend, my profession, what I do, is basically throw nonsensical crap against the wall and see what sticks?” No. That’s not true. That’s not what I do. I help people. I convince people to take steps, to do things that are good for them. If I didn’t think what I was doing was good for someone, I wouldn’t be doing it. Selling is helping, and in order to use our system, the 60 Second Sale System, is all about building relationships. It’s about us creating something together to last a lifetime. If I throw a word salad at you just to confuse you and get you to do what I want you to do, that’s going to damage our relationship. That’s not going to help our relationship.
Today, when we talk about how to be a good liar, we’re not talking about what to do and how to do it so that you can confuse someone, so that you can conceal the truth. What we’re talking about is essentially helping to build our own self-esteem, helping to bolster our courage, so that we can go out there and do what we need to do every day, and put on that rejection armor, so that we don’t get hurt by everybody else throwing their baggage at us. Let me give you the three things, the three instances when I think you need to be a good liar. Now, you may disagree with me, and if you disagree with me, I want to hear from you. I want to hear all about that. If you’re on Facebook with us live right now, type in why you disagree with me right on the screen. If you’re not on Facebook, and you want to be, @TheDaveLorenzo. Twitter, it’s the same thing. Instagram, the same thing. TheDaveLorenzo.
Three times when you should be a great liar. Number one, to yourself. You’ve got to lie to yourself. You get up in the morning, you look in the mirror, and you don’t feel like you’re your best. You look in the mirror and you tell yourself, “You are beautiful. You are fantastic. You are the most valuable person in the world to someone, and that someone is the next person you’re going to meet. You’re going to add value to their lives, because you are the most valuable person in the world to them.” You may not feel that way, and honestly, you may not look that way to anybody else, but you have to look that way to yourself. You wake up in the morning, your hair is a mess. Maybe you’ve got … If you look like me, you’ve got bags under your eyes. Maybe you’re not feeling as good as you should, but you’ve got to tell yourself that you’re the best, and that you’re going to go out there and you’re going to add value to the lives of other people.
The beauty of a lie is, if you repeat it enough, people believe it to be true. When you lie to yourself, that’s called positive self-talk. You feel, perhaps, maybe you’re 10 pounds or 20 pounds overweight. You feel like you’re not at your fighting best. You feel like you’re not fit. You feel a little slumped over, and perhaps a little afraid to face the day. You’ve got to look at yourself, and get yourself motivated, and that requires you convincing yourself, and it starts with that little lie you tell yourself. That’s the first time you have to be a great liar. First time is to yourself.
Now, the second time you have to be a great liar is when you lie to the people you care about the most. Now, I’m not saying that you need to go out and lie to your spouse, to your significant other, about where you were last night. That’s not what I’m telling you to do. When your significant other, when your spouse comes to you, when my wife comes to me … I hope you’re not watching this on Facebook right now. When my wife comes to me, and she says, “Do I look fat in this?” If the answer is yes, there is no way I am telling her the truth. You can’t do that either. That is not the time for brutal honesty. That is not the time for brutal honesty. There is a better way to help your spouse, to help your significant other, think about their health, and think about their fitness. There’s a better way to frame that conversation.
You have to be a great liar when it’s time for you to tell someone the answer they want to hear in that specific instance. The people you care about the most need you to bolster their self-esteem. That’s what we do for each other. When you care about someone, that’s what you do for them. If you want to help them, if you want to help them with their life, if you want to help them with a specific problem, you need to frame it in the right way. If, perhaps, you want to have that discussion with your spouse or with your significant other, I don’t need to have that with my wife. She’s perfect exactly the way she is, but if you want to have that with your spouse, with your significant other, what you do is you wait for the right opportunity, you go up to your spouse, your significant other, and you talk about how you need to focus on your fitness and health. It would be easier if the two of you did it together. That’s the proper way to frame that discussion, so when she, or he, asks you, “Do I look fat in this? How do you think I did with that performance?”
Your kids, they do a dance recital. “How did I do, dad? How did I do, mom?” “You did fantastic. You were amazing. I’m so proud of you.” Regardless of whether they missed a step. Regardless of whether they left out the whole stanza in their piano concerto. You don’t need to tell them the truth. You need to tell them something that’s going to bolster their self-esteem.
The third time, the last time we’re going to discuss when it’s okay to lie, when it’s absolutely okay to lie, is when the longer discussion would not be productive. When the longer discussion would not be productive. Here’s an example. You work with a client. You have a catastrophic service failure. You let your client down. Your client comes to you and they say, “You let me down. Why did that happen? I need to know. I just can not believe that you let me down like this. We’ve worked together for 20 years.” The reason that you let that client down in this instance is because one of your key people didn’t show up for work, because they have a drinking problem, and they overslept, and they slept through their alarm clock. This is the fifth time it’s happened. You’re going to let that employee go.
Now, if you were to have that discussion with your client, it would not be productive. That discussion with your client would not be productive. What do you do? You simply say to your client, “Mr. Client, I accept full responsibility. I accept full responsibility. I am going to tell you that the reason we let you down was completely my fault. I should have put a system in place to make sure this didn’t happen. I promise it will never happen again if you give us another chance.” You didn’t actually lie. You just didn’t tell him the full truth, and if he insists on hearing the truth, you simply say to him, “This is not something that I will share with you. It’s a personal issue that I’ve addressed with our team, and I can assure you this will never happen again.”
It’s not really a full lie, but it’s not disclosing the whole truth to the client, because, honestly, someone’s issue, someone’s disease, someone’s personal status is not the business of the client. The service failure is, and if you can assure the client that you will prevent that service failure from occurring again in the future, he doesn’t really need to get into the details. He doesn’t need the gory details.
Those are the three times when it’s okay to lie. Now, I’ll tell you directly, frankly, it is never, ever okay to lie to deceive a client, to achieve your own end. To achieve an end that’s going to benefit you. It’s never okay to lie to deceive anyone to intentionally hurt them. That is never okay. In these three specific instances, I think it’s okay to lie, and I think you need to be a good liar. How do you become a good liar in these three instances? Quite frankly, you use as much of the truth as you possibly can. That’s one. Number two, you provide as many details that are accurate as you possibly can. Number three, you change the subject, not immediately so that it looks suspicious, but gently move on to another subject.
“Honey, do I look fat in this?” “Oh, my love, you look beautiful. I can’t wait for everyone to see us together at the event. Do you know what time it starts? In fact, we should get going, right?” That’s how you do it. The client says to you, “You let me down. I can’t believe you let me down. This is horrible. So horrible, service failure. How could you let this happen? Why did it happen?” “Mr. Client, I’m very sorry that this happened. I accept full responsibility. This is on me. I promise you this will not happen again. We’ve put systems in place to ensure this won’t happen again. Let me know what I can do to make it up to you. What can I do to make this up to you?” Asking a question is a great way to pivot from a subject that’s uncomfortable, where you just had to either not tell part of the truth or move on to another area.
The title of this show is How to Be a Good Liar. I’ve given you three times when I think it’s okay, in fact, it’s your obligation to lie. You tell me what you think. Hit me up on Twitter, @TheDaveLorenzo. On Facebook, @TheDaveLorenzo. You can also find me on Instagram, @TheDaveLorenzo. I absolutely love Instagram. I hope that you will join me on Instagram as well. Now, we’ve got a question, Nancy, and I know that this is one of the questions that came to me on Twitter. I’m going to read it to you. Let’s turn the tables today. I’ll read the question to you, and you tell me if it’s a good question. You tell me if you think I should answer it, okay?
This question today is from Todd Murgo in El Paso, Texas. I’m looking at it right here, right now. He says, “Dave, you talk about sending referral sources business before asking them to refer you. You always say that’s how you create evangelists. Well, there’s one guy I’ve sent three different deals to, and he hasn’t sent me anything back yet. How many more deals should I send him before I move on to someone else?” What do you think, Nancy?
That’s a tricky situation to be in. You wonder, you keep doing things for people, and they’re not doing things in return for you, and you have to wonder if you should continue.
You know, this is something that comes up all the time. I hear it from a lot of different people. My own personal feeling is that you give someone three chances, and Todd’s exactly right. You give them three chances, and then you move on. In fact, when we talk about creating evangelists, the best way to create an evangelist is to send them a referral. Let me, because I think we’ve talked about this before, let me give you the step by step guide to preventing this situation from happening. Todd, if you’re listening, this is kind of a bonus for you, because I think we’ve covered this question before.
Here’s what you do. To avoid this situation, to keep it from happening in the first place, you demonstrate to your client how you want to be referred. “Nancy, I want to connect you with somebody who’s going to be a fantastic client for you.” There’s three ways I could do it. First way I could do it is, I could say, “Listen. I need you to meet Nancy Pop. She’s fantastic. She will absolutely help you take your business to the next level.” Then, I do an e-mail introduction. I connect you with the client. That’s an e-mail introduction, and basically, Nancy, for you, what I’m doing is I’m inviting you to make a cold call to this person. Not very comfortable for you, but it’s better than you calling somebody out of the blue, I guess, because I’ve kind of warmed them up a little. Maybe it’s a lukewarm call, and not a cold call, right?
The second way to do this would be for me to pick up the phone, and for me to say, “Hey, Nancy. Hold on. I’ve got Jim on the other line. You got a minute to talk to him? Okay. Let me get Jim and connect him to you. Jim’s a guy who’s looking for the exact services you provide. I’m going to introduce you to him, and I’m going to talk you up. I’m going to tell him what a great job you do. Hold on one second.” Then I patch Jim in, and I say, “Jim. I want you to meet Nancy. She’s on the line.” Nancy says hello, and I say, “Hey, Jim. Nancy helps me with my show. She produces it. She’s fantastic. She really keeps things organized. I think she could do the same for you. I really think you guys should work together.” Then Jim says, “Great.” Maybe he asks Nancy a question or two. They exchange contact information, and you’re off to the races. You guys can do business together then.
That’s the way you do it over the phone, and in my case with Nancy, most of the time, Nancy’s in New York. I’m in Miami, so that will probably work the best. Let’s say I had somebody really, really big. Let’s say I had Oprah, and Oprah’s doing a new show. She’s going to do a new show on her own network, which is called OWN. She’s going to do her own show, and she calls me, and she says, “Dave. I need a producer for this show.” I say, “Oprah. I’ve got the perfect person. Her name is Nancy Pop. You and I, let’s get on a plane. We’re going to go meet Nancy.” I call Nancy, we set an appointment, I drag Oprah into Nancy’s office. We talk. They hit it off. The trust that I have in Nancy is personally passed to Oprah, because we’re all together, the three of us, in one room. I took the time to go pick Oprah up in Chicago on my plane and take her to New York.
Now, I’m exaggerating, obviously, but if you really want to make sure two people do business, you want to be absolutely positive that you communicate the trust you have in that other person. You grab them by the ear. You take them to the meeting, and you introduce them. You guys shake hands, and you say, “I trust this person so much I was willing to take time out of my day to introduce them to you.” Now, back to the question that Todd asked. If you really want to be sure people know how to refer you, this is the way you refer them. If you want your referrals in person, you give your referrals in person. Teach people through your actions. If you want your referrals over the phone, do it over the phone. If you’re okay with the invitation to the cold call in an e-mail, then take the invitation to the cold call in the e-mail. Your actions are how you demonstrate to people that you want to be referred in a specific way. That’s how you do it. This question is so important. It’s so nice that I think we had to cover it twice. Thanks, Todd, for the question. I appreciate it.
Now, we’re at the end of our show. We’re at the end of our time together, and Nancy, guess what? We’ve got something special today.
What is it?
You may have noticed on the way in, we had brand new intro music, and on the way out, we’ve got brand new music, too. Sit back and relax for the next 31 seconds and listen to our great exit music. Until next time, I’m Dave Lorenzo, and I hope you make a great living and live a great life.
Here is the behind the scenes video from Facebook Live in the studio when we recorded this episode of the 60 Second Sales Show.
How to Be a Good Liar