Own your faults

I’ve always loved the story of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson’s first meeting. Holmes is in the laboratory testing a new technique for testing the age of dried blood, when Dr. Watson is ushered in by a mutual acquaintance. They are each looking for a flatmate.

Holmes begins by listing out his faults. He’s eccentric, moody, and depressive. He plays the violin at all hours. Watson’s own list of faults includes bouts of melancholy and chronic illness. Holmes and Watson each conclude that the other’s faults don’t pose a problem and agree to move in together.

It is useful to share your failings – why someone shouldn’t want what we are offering.

Selling real estate

If you are a realtor and listing a house for sale, it is counterproductive to falsify your listing with all of the benefits of your property and none of its faults.

If the house is in a high traffic location, don’t describe it as “tranquil” because anyone walking through the neighborhood will recognize the lie. Instead, emphasize the convenience and utility that comes from living in a busy area.

When you claim your faults openly, you’ll attract the people who won’t mind or might even appreciate those constraints.

Your authenticity closes deals

When you sell with an unusual degree of authenticity, you’ll make the sale faster and generate goodwill for returning business.

When you share your faults, there won’t ever be a retraction or a rug-pull when the potential buyer steps onto your property and finds that the “tranquility” you advertised in your listing is regularly interrupted by street noise.

Who are you not for?

Declare your faults immediately and up front.

  • Your services are very expensive.
  • Your product solves a specific problem for one industry, and no one else.
  • Working with you requires a lot of time and commitment.

For example, Snafu isn’t for people who don’t want to learn how to sell or change behavior. If you’re uninterested in changing your behavior or don’t believe that selling can be used for good, this newsletter isn’t for you. (You can unsubscribe here.)

Knowing who you don’t serve is at least as important as knowing who you do.

Declare your faults. You’ll weed out mismatches more quickly.

Until next week,

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