The Value of Transparency and Honesty in Business

  • July 23rd, 2015
  • Erik Larson

How being honest and providing good education will get you more referrals.

I love honesty.

When I’m working with salespeople, people in the service industry, or anybody really, if they’re being genuine and honest with me, I am three times more likely to give them a referral. Here’s one of my favorite quotes on honesty.

“The first step toward greatness is to be honest, says the proverb; but the proverb fails to state the case strong enough. Honesty is not only “the first step toward greatness,” — it is greatness itself.”

-Christian Nestell Bovee

I just recently attended the AltLend Summit in New York City, and there was a great discussion about transparency and honesty in the alternative lending industry. Most of the conversation was about education, and how to properly educate the small business owner.

Here’s the thing, honesty is a lot more than just not telling a lie. Honesty in business is covering all the details of your processes that will affect the customer. If there are going to be fees tacked on the end, make sure they know that from the beginning. If the contract has something in it that you’re pretty sure they don’t understand, make sure they understand it. If a customer at any point before or after a transaction feels they’ve been tricked, you’re not going to get any referrals from them, and honestly, you’re probably going to get a bad reputation.

Here’s three ways you can be more honest and get more referrals:

Educate Your Customer

Before you even start the sales process, have educational material ready for your customer to understand. Talk to them about your industry’s practices, tell them the history of your company, explain your process, try to remove any potential future surprises. Whether that educational content sits on your website or in a printed brochure, the more the customer understands, the easier the sale is going to be.

Explain the Terms Clearly

When you’re about to close the sale, make sure they know exactly what they’re getting and what it is going to cost them. Walk them through the contract, if there’s a part where you feel they might not understand it clearly, cover it in detail.

Consider Eating Extra Costs

If something happens and you’re suddenly going to have to charge more for your services, consider eating the extra cost. This goes a long way towards building customer trust, which will bring in more referrals. If your business is based on consistently returning customers, this is especially important. Remember the lifetime profit value of the customer, losing fifty dollars now is better than losing a customer that brings in two thousand a year.

All in all, being honest and transparent with your customers is going to build your business and reputation. The more you educate, the better it works out in the end.

Here at Lendio, we’re dedicated to transparency and honesty. That’s why we have a loan specialist assigned to you to walk through the details of the loan process. To get started with Lendio, visit www.lendio.com.

About the Author

  • Erik Larson

Erik Larson frequently writes for Lendio about SEO, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Business Loans, and whatever else strikes his fancy. He can be found on and Twitter.

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