We had only one option if we were to do what was best for these clients: We had to be honest. Even if they didn’t ask, which, thankfully, they did, we would have to tell them it was a mistake to go forward. We had to help them to remove the emotion. From now on, this was our job: We were taking care of the client, and that demanded total honesty and one truth as we saw it. That was our value to them.
We told them the truth as we saw it, and that night we were transformed. Clients First changed how we dealt with the truth. Honesty was the key, and it changed not only JoAnn and me, it also changed our relationships with our clients, and, ultimately, it changed our clients.
Before Clients First, we always thought of ourselves as good people. Sure, JoAnn would tell little white lies to save hurting others. I was very creative when necessary. We weren’t above covering a mistake now and then as long as it didn’t really matter. We both had excellent memories. But that night, when we decided nothing else mattered as long as we kept the client, we suddenly had a different standard by which to measure our success, and toying with the truth did not work anymore.
These questions changed everything, and, as JoAnn and I look back, we realize the change was immediate. ...