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Fake it till you make it?

I'd like to hear others input on the "fake it, till you make it" motto. I'm not talking about deception, but more of over selling yourself and then filling any gaps as you go. Or maybe that is deception. I really have no idea. Whats considered too far or shady? Or is it just best to not go down that path?

42 Replies

Matt Filios
6
0
Matt Filios Entrepreneur • Advisor
Growth Catalyst
Hi Martin,
I'm not a big fan of the "fake it 'til you make it" philosophy. It is generally easy to sniff that out and realize that someone is not upfront with reality, and they quickly lose much to all credibility. I'm more a big proponent of "act like you've been there before" mentality, which was taught to me ironically by my peewee football coach. Visualizing what it would mean to achieve success, or failure for that matter, and how you would act and react prepares you much more for what you have in front of you as a business leader, or really anyone in life. It's much more rewarding in the long run as well.
Hope that helps.
Martin Scott
1
0
Martin Scott Entrepreneur
► ► CyberSecurity Consulting
Thanks.This helps a lot. This question came from a recent discussion with a prospective client and competitor of mine. I stated exactly what I was capable of doing and could not do, or rather didn't have any experience doing, and my competitor just went with the "we do everything". The client went with the competitor.I feel good about being honest but it does sting a little.
Dimitry Rotstein
0
0
Dimitry Rotstein Entrepreneur
Head of R&D at SafeZone
I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you talking only about yourself, as a professional or a person with some quality, e.g. you claim to be an expert in accounting even though you only read one book about it, but you do intend to learn more, if necessary.
Or, are you talking about offering some kind of a product before making it, but creating an impression that you have made it, or at least it's in the final stages of development?
Jeff Mills
0
0
Jeff Mills Entrepreneur • Advisor
Global Vice President of Sales at iMerit Technology
Martin,

All relationships need to be built for the long term. There is no problem with selling 3 months out and having an on-boarding stage that is clear with your client. That said, you better deliver. I highly recommend being as transparent as possible during the process, but you shouldn't be afraid to tell the story of where you are going.
Matt Filios
1
0
Matt Filios Entrepreneur • Advisor
Growth Catalyst
Understood. Yes, it does sting sometimes when you lose to a competitor who "does everything". What I would say is stay with your style, and when going up against as bigger competitor play the "agility" card against them, the ability to react and pivot quicker and easier to their needs than a bigger company could. Many times the prospect will go with that, especially if you are truly sincere about it. People like to feel that their needs will be met throughout the entire experience.
Good luck to you!
Jeff Mills
4
0
Jeff Mills Entrepreneur • Advisor
Global Vice President of Sales at iMerit Technology
Also, follow up with the client you lost. They will be frustrated in 90 days if your competitor didn't deliver.
Misha McPherson
2
0
Misha McPherson Entrepreneur
Passionate about building great companies, culture, and the customer experience. Currently hiring for sales.
Martin, if this is about a sales cycle, just stay in touch with the customer. Over-promising/under delivering is one of the surest way to increase churn. Not only that, but I'd start digging into that competitors customer base. If they have lied to one customer, they have lied to others. Good way to pick up new customers.

Remember that this is a very small world. I remember which sales reps and vendors are good partners and which are not. I both buy and talk about the sales reps and vendors who are ethical. I avoid (and tell others to avoid) those who are not.

Keep it clean :)
Sage Vann
4
0
Sage Vann Entrepreneur
Building User Joy at Rooster Park
I think the key here is not in the faking it part, but the 'making it'. Many times the internal emotional response to doing something grand or new is one of fear. Many popular neuroscience books discuss 'Impostor Syndrome', the feeling that strong, intelligent people often feel as if they are an impostor and that if everyone know how much they were 'making it up' or 'faking it' that they'd be laughed off. The truth is, that's where learning and growth happens. At the end of the day, you do it, do it, do it, and then one day, you realize that all the actions you have lined up in sequence along the way have empowered you to become the image of the person who was 'doing it' all along. I like Amy Cuddy's rephrasing of this old phrase, "Fake it, 'til you become it".
David Still
3
0
David Still Advisor
Founder of Start-ups, Entrepreneur, Financier and Advisor
Never, ever fake it - at any time. It will ruin your business and professional reputation.
Ema Chuku
2
0
Ema Chuku Entrepreneur
Designer. Product Developer. Founder @ NuPad
Deception should not in any way be in this motto.. In my view, "fake it til you make" is giving positive and true perception (answers) to the audience, hold back the negative ones, until you make it, then give full throttle.
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