Seth Godin in between


Another Seth-urday rolls around and takes the ‘lead’ from yesterday’s sales insights. Seth is one of the finest writers around on selling and marketing. In a few of his posts, he talks about the importance of the “story”. And in telling your story, he advocates not sweating getting all the details 100% right in his post “A True Story”…

  • “Of course, that’s impossible. There’s no such thing as a true story. As soon as you start telling a story, making it relevant and interesting to me, hooking it into my worldviews and generating emotions and memories, it ceases to be true, at least if we define true as the whole truth, every possible fact, non-localized and regardless of culture. Since you’re going to tell a story, you might as well get good at it, focus on it and tell it in a way that you’re proud of.”

Many folks think salesmen and marketeers are nothing but a bunch of liars, but Seth makes a curious defence for embracing the failure of total truth. He provides further justification in his post “The Placebo Affect”…

  • “The magic of the placebo effect lies in the fact that you can’t do it to yourself. You need an accomplice. Someone in authority who will voluntarily tell you a story. That’s what marketers do. We have the ‘placebo affect’.”

In essence, he says that in certain circumstances, people want to be lied to. Unless they have an ‘accomplice’ in this deception, they miss out on some powerful benefits. The ‘placebo’ is the ultimate ‘little white lie’. The ‘white lie’ is a conundrum that has challenged ethicists for years. The embracing failure side of me says that there can be a place for such truth failures in life. Telling someone they look nice in something when you think another outfit would suit better or that you are happy to see them when you merely missed the change to bolt from the encounter. And with any failure, there are important lines to be drawn of when failure is effective and when it is not.