We’ve touched on how to detect a liar, and now here’s a look into the deceptive practices of former “professional liar” Clancy Martin. He shares a couple of tips in this kottke.org blog post from his experience in the luxury jewelry business, where a lie could often mean a little additional profit. According to Martin, the key to a convincing lie is learning how to first deceive yourself.
As I would tell my salespeople: If you want to be an expert deceiver, master the art of self-deception. People will believe you when they see that you yourself are deeply convinced.
And the customer will help in this process, because she or he wants the diamond — where else can I get such a good deal on such a high-quality stone? — to be of a certain size and quality. At the same time, he or she does not want to pay the price that the actual diamond, were it what you claimed it to be, would cost. The transaction is a collaboration of lies and self-deceptions.