I was more than a little sad and excited to find the 1st google link when I typed in “sales honesty” was a Boston Business Journal from 2006 – seriously, does that mean no one is talking about this?
Actually it doesn’t – last year Colleen Francis, one of my women sales training colleagues to the north co-wrote a book with Steven Gaffney called Honesty Sells check it out, especially if you want to read some horrifyingly funny stories of sales lies!
In A Chip Off the Block’s Pirate Edition I defined convenient honesty as using the truth when it is in your own best interest.
Today I want to express with 100% conviction that there is NEVER inconvenient honesty.
Direct Questions – are the easiest place to start. There is no gray area here, no wiggle room – if a prospect or customer asks you a direct question:
it is ok to ask clarifying questions 1st
Answer Their Question
Misdirection – I’m here to tell you that sales is not a magic show. Slight of hand, misdirection, and illusion have no place in sales! You are NOT more clever than the prospect.
Not to mention the downsides of being caught by savvy buyers with *gasp* the ability to research on the internet.
Context… or out of it – choosing fact that are true, and appear to answer the question or address the customer’s issue BUT actually don’t if the whole story is told.
I’m not saying you have to share every single thing YOU know with someone else. Rather this is about choosing specific information on the basis that it is TRUE but not ACCURATE (to quote my friend Jerry M).
Statistics the old adage “figures lie & liars figure” is about the use of numbers to create a false impression.It is important to understand how a number will come across based on the audience you’re presenting to.
Scientists and salespeople have different ideas about numbers and what they mean – be sure you use them the way your audience expects.
Be Honest – with yourself, choose to use the truth to sell, it sure does make it easier for someone to become a repeat customer! Now for some reason I am compelled to end with the Thompson Twins Lies Lies Lies
and some you can’t disguise
twisted truth and half the news
can’t hide it in your eyes