If you are near my age 60+ that line might remind you of the classic television show “Dragnet.” Sgt. Joe Friday, the lead detective, was constantly reminding the people (suspects, witnesses, victims) that he interviewed to just give him the facts, nothing but the facts while he interviewed them. Friday didn’t want any of the emotional debris these people would try to add to their account of what happened. “Just the facts” was all Friday could work with, and none of the emotions could change those facts.
How often do we find ourselves allowing the emotions that are stirred to cloud or distort the reality of what we’ve witnessed or been involved in? Does the frustration of not getting a return call two times change those facts to not getting a return call five or six times? Perhaps we want to use the distorted truth to justify being angry or feeling abused rather than acting appropriately to a situation that doesn’t quite suit our needs or desires.
The challenge is to accept reality, process it and then deal with it on face value instead of fabricating a new story to justify our feelings or our decision about how to react to something we don’t like. And don’t think it is always negative emotions that create “fake news.” Too often salespeople report on having a great meeting and start a sales pursuit that isn’t based the real facts of what happened. Is a great meeting a meeting that builds hope or potential, or is a great meeting one where there is a clear path forward that both parties are mutually aware of and committed to? The emotional distortion of potential has launched too many salespeople onto a path to nowhere but frustration and anger when a suspect doesn’t turn into a prospect let alone a customer.
Channel good old Sgt. Joe Friday when you go on your next sales call and remember your job is to deal with the facts, just the facts. Don’t look to the emotion of hope or the sense of a great meeting to distort the reality of what actually happened and what actually has yet to be done.