It’s a hot summer afternoon, and you’re on a call with an old client (not by age, but by the length of business relationship). You’re scrambling on a sheet of paper to write down the list of requirements of the client for your next project together and suddenly he crosses a boundary: He requires something you have never done before, and asks you if you will be able to do it.

You go, “Yes! No problem.”

Sounds familiar? Well, that’s what most businesses do in such a a situation and all that’s okay if you know you will do whatever it takes to successfully deliver the required service/product.

For all the other times when you’re in a tough spot, it’s a great (really great) idea to be insanely honest with your clients. Here are a few ways:

  1. If You’re Not For Them, Tell Them

We all know that no product or service is a right fit for everyone in the world. Not even Coke.

Yet most of us are absolutely allergic to excluding even the most unlikely target audience.

What if you said something like “If you like your chocolate really dark, strong, and on the bitter end of the spectrum, we might not be the right guys for you. We understand a lot of people like their chocolates really strong, but we just don’t want to mislead you guys. There are a lot of other companies making amazing dark chocolates and ours is just not one of them.”

  1. Admit The Not-so-good Features & Share Disappointments

No matter what you’re providing you cannot be the best on all fronts and all features may not be the best in the market. Admit to them. Traditional marketing requires you to put up a happy face and lie to your customers.

But what if you throw away that phony mask and admitted to the truth maybe like, “Okay, so we haven’t perfected our data analysis system. So, if analysing the customer’s interaction with the designs is your top priority, there might be some better tools out there. But, if you can do with basic analysis, we promise our designs will blow the roof off!”

We guess such honesty makes and instant connection with the clients and helps build trust for a long mutually beneficial relationship.

  1. Embrace the Problems & Laugh At Yourself

Well, this one’s simple. Pretending like your company never faces any problem is too unreal and never let’s you make a strong trustworthy connection with your client.

  1. Praise Where It’s Due

If your product or service isn’t breaking an absolutely new ground, it’s likely that there’s a war going on among competitors in the market and most of them are spewing venom on their competitors and, often, it gets ugly.
But we all know, if not all, a lot of the competitors have some really good features / offerings / traits. Just appreciating your competitor a little bit sky-rockets your business’s credibility as a honest business that is not afraid of a little competition and doesn’t put up pretensions.

  1. Speak the Truth Instead of Lame Excuses

Give your customers and clients a chance to understand that your company is run by people, and no matter how hard people try, mistakes happen. A simple admission like “You’re not gonna believe this. Yesterday afternoon, Rahul, our technical head accidentally messed up the servers and a lot of our clients’ websites went down. Well, the good news is that he got them back up in 45 mins, but in case it affected your business in any way, do write to us and we’ll try to make it even.”


“Honesty is about the scars. it’s about the blemishes.  But it’s more than just bragging about failure, which could be a form of ego. It’s about truly helping people.” – James Altucher

When you’re honest, you’re going against the grain, and people can’t help but trust you and your honest self. So, maybe, try a couple of these being-honest tricks some while and see how it goes for you.

Do remember to comment below and share your thoughts.

Square Dust is a Design Agency with a taste, based out of Delhi NCR and provides exceptionally well-crafted marketing online/offline services for fashion / FMCG clients.