By Nancy Friedman, Special to Tire Business
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — I recently posted a short comment about the conversational use of the rhetorical question, “Can I be honest with you?” — something often used in sales.
The responses I received contained a good amount of agreement that this is not a good phrase to use, so let's delve a bit deeper into this.
What are the ramifications of saying, “Can I be honest with you?” to a customer, prospect or anyone for that matter? To name a few:
- It's a ‘trust' violator.
- It's considered “social noise.”
- It reduces your credibility because, of course, people expect honesty. We call it a credibility buster.
- There's a hidden message in what you're saying.
And there are plenty of “cousins” to that phrase that are just as annoying. Do these sound familiar?
- Can I tell you the truth?
- Let me be perfectly frank.
- You want the truth?
- I'm gonna level with you.
- Can I be candid with you?