Our title today is first rule of the 4 way Rotary International Test. We recite the Four Way test each and every week at Rotary.
A business owner was telling me the other day that his business has increased significantly because his competitor fails to follow the first rule of the Rotary Four Way Test! This business owner told me that he has had customer’s of his competitor come and buy a similar product from his store because after having bought from the competitor, they review the product, the manufacturer’s documentation and decide that what they were told they were buying and what they actually were sold were different!
Now, with business and competition as strong as it is today, I think that you have to be careful about what you tell a prospective customer. There is nothing wrong in pointing out all of the strength’s of the product, the benefits of the product, but to not tell the truth is something that is not only unethical, but is also not honest.
Interestingly, some people will believe what they are told and will not do any follow up work to be sure to verify and be certain what they bought was indeed what they thought the product was as described. However, many people will read carefully all of the manufacturer’s paperwork, review the specifications carefully and return the product if what they thought they bought and what was actually was delivered are materially different.
As a business owner, you have a duty and obligation to tell the truth. There is nothing wrong in telling the truth. If the product is of inferior quality, then so be it. If you cannot honestly say that the product is not as superior as other products, perhaps finding a new job is the best solution for you.
Many business owners today are willing not to tell the truth to make the sale. Albeit, this is normally a “one time” sale. Many business owners are very willing to fore go a sale today, in hopes that the customer will return and buy something later, hopefully establishing a long term customer relationship.
We always recommend a long term customer relationship. Always tell the truth about the product. Many times you are able to address what appears to be a negative point in a positive manner. For example, if your product is indeed of lesser quality than another product, you can cite that your product does not have all of the features that a bigger, more expensive product possesses, but will fulfill the intended need in the same way, probably at lower cost.
Always tell the truth. If you tell the truth, you never have to remember what was told. In the end, it is well worth hearing the truth every time. After all, is that not what you want, a long term customer that repeats his/her business many times over? I know that we do!