Honesty in sales

Honesty in sales

The most common response I get when telling people I’m in sales is…”oh, you are a smooth talking liar that will do anything to close a deal.”

I take offense to that because it’s my experience that being honest, upfront, and transparent leads to the highest value sales, and the best client relationships. People appreciate being told the “real deal” even if it means they aren’t getting what they want.

We had a prospect call in recently that—upon first inspection—didn’t have the means to work with us. The guy ran a pretty old school business, and I unfairly assumed that he didn’t have the budget to afford us.

After asking some pretty hard-hitting questions and getting some really great, honest answers, I found myself thinking, “wow, this guy is legit and would be a great match for our company!”

After communicating our agency minimum and the actual costs I forecasted over the next year or so to get the results he was looking for, I had piqued his interest. He thanked me for being so up front with him and asked to continue on in our sales process.

Moving forward, I’m predicting that he and I will have a great experience together, rather than playing cat and mouse on who can expect what, and what results will be gained.

I went home that night feeling really refreshed as a salesman. Clients value honesty and transparency over anything else. I always thought football great Paul Bear Bryant was so impressive because he was willing to let people know what he was going to do, and was good enough at it that it didn’t matter that they knew his plan. He was going to win, his way.

Winning in sales isn’t about beating the client, or tricking them out of their money. It’s about finding a win-win situation for both parties. The client gets a valuable service, and we get a fair price that the client is comfortable with.

The only way to achieve that is through clear, honest communication.

How about it, sales-people? Where has your clarity and frankness been rewarded?

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