The Truth In Advertising

Listen, young man! The cleverest man in the world is the man that tells the truth, and tells it all the time, not occasionally.

Sometimes you can profit by a lie, but it is like dodging bullets; you never know when you are going to get hurt.

Lying is a game. Sometimes it is a very exciting game. But it is essentially gambling. And gambling, any sort of gambling, is not business.

The fundamental laws of business are just as accurate and as well established as the principles of geometry.

It is hard to see this, for our visual range is limited. Most of us can see the crooked dollar coming today, but not the ten straight dollars it is going to lose us tomorrow.

Real business success is cumulative. It grows like a snowball. And the one thing that makes it keep us growing, even while we sleep, is our persistent truthfulness and dependableness.

If you put an advertisement in the paper announcing goods worth five dollars for sale at two dollars, and if the people come and buy, and find out the stuff is not worth ten cents, you may make a one day’s gain, but you have alienated a lot of indignant customers and have started to saw away the posts that sustain your reputation.

If you have a store rented for a week only and purpose to conduct a sacrifice sale of goods that will make everybody disgusted who buys them, then perhaps you may lie with a high hand and a stretched-out arm.

But if you are in the town to stay, and want regular, returning, increasing, satisfied, and friendly customers, it will pay you to stick to the old-fashioned truth.

Exaggeration is lying. It does not take long for the people in the community to get the habit of discounting twenty-five per cent, of all you say.

If you continually overstate and vociferate you must keep on getting louder, until you soon become incoherent.

But if you habitually state only what is soberly, honestly true, by and by everything you say will be away above par.

A man’s repute for truthfulness is as much a part of his capital as are his store and stock; so much so that he can raise money on it.

As civilization progresses, business becomes more and more an affair of credit, of trust. The very foundation of big business is trustworthiness. Therefore, if you are ever going to get beyond the peanut-stand and push-cart stage of merchandise you must establish a basis of dependableness.

There is not one thing in this world, young man, that can be of as much value to you as building up a reputation such that men will say, “your word is as good as your bond.”

It is well to be clever and keen and Johnny-on-the-spot, it is well to look out for number one and to know a good bargain, but best of all is to have the world say of you: “Whatever that man says can absolutely be relied upon.”


Support this fine website.

Your donations are greatly appreciated.

Thanks, champ.

Share via
Send this to a friend