A Sailor- off on a long voyage- took a monkey with him to amuse him while on shipboard. As he sailed off the coast of Greece, a violent tempest arose, in which the ship was wrecked, and he, his Monkey and all the crew were obliged to swim for their lives.

A Dolphin saw the Monkey contending with the waves, and supposing him to be a man (whom he is always said to befriend), came and placed himself under him, to bring him safely to the shore.

When the Dolphin arrived with his burden in sight of land not far from Athens, he demanded to know if the Monkey was an Athenian. The Monkey answered that he was, and that he was descended from one of the noblest families in that city.

The Dolphin then inquired if he knew Piræus (the famous harbor of Athens). The Monkey, supposing that he meant a man and being obliged to support his previous lie, answered that he knew him very well, and that he was an intimate friend, who would, no doubt, be very glad to see him.

The Dolphin, indignant at these falsehoods, dipped the Monkey under the water, and drowned him. A little harsh as a fable goes, but what can we take from this anecdote, what is the moral of this story?

If you think about it, there are many fables and fairy tales that follow a similar theme, (Pinocchio, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, etc.) What useful lesson can this impart to us, how can we apply this to our business, to our marketing strategy?

I’m sure you’ve all seen those glitzy ads that pop up annoyingly when you’re trying to watch that video, trying to sell you some rubbish that you aren’t even interested in, I’m sure if “your bag” is marketing then you may have even thought of using that technique once or twice yourself, to get your products or services some extra press.

But like those old Lynx body spray adverts that used to play on television in Europe that depicted the nerd spraying himself and then suddenly from every direction, gorgeous women (that smelt the fragrance) began running towards him – it doesn’t actually work, it’s total hockum!

Well this is the moral of this tale: “He who once begins to tell falsehoods is obliged to tell others to make them appear true, and, sooner or later, they will get him into trouble.”

In your services and in your marketing: stick to the truth, to the facts. Sure, they may not be as sexy or alluring as some wild claims that could be made to get you that sale with less effort, but what it won’t get you is a satisfied customer that will come back, again and again and recommend you to their customers and partners.

It won’t get you the reputation of an honest person that wants to help their customers and provide good honest products and services, that’s what the truth is for, leave the falsehoods to the monkeys!!!

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