From an article on nice-but-cheap bottles of wine in the NYT:
Letâs face it, you can find hundreds if not thousands of bottles in [the $10 or under category], down to the lowest of the low. We cannot try them all and say, âHere are the 10 best.â But we can give you some suggestions as to where to look, while offering up some good examples. …
Here’s what I find remarkable about this: The writer, Eric Asimov, isn’t saying anything that should be shocking when he points out the impossibility of finding the 10 best wines under $10. And yet it stopped me in my tracks. In saying the obvious, he became much more credible to me. Because most of the other “best-of” lists you see don’t concede their obvious limitations. “Hey, look, it’s absurd to think that we’ve found the best 10 albums of the year, out of thousands that were released…” Asimov’s admission made me more curious, not less, to hear what he had to say.
It reminds me of the sales world. We’ve all come across salespeople who are reluctant to admit any weakness in their product or service, no matter how insignificant. As many a sales guru has pointed out, building trust involves being candid, and being candid involves admitting that your products aren’t flawless.
Admitting weakness can, oddly enough, make your core ideas more powerful.