Do you need to compromise your integrity to close a sale?
“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” Franklin Roosevelt
Lying is lying. Cheating is cheating.
Let’s get this out of the way. Do you need to compromise your integrity to close a sale?
There is more to this answer than a simple yes or no.
We can all think of traditional approaches to lying - the ones that are easy to spot. Misrepresenting what the company / product / service can or will deliver.
Many of us have been burned by this type of lying in the past.
There are plenty of salespeople who still resort to lying for short-term gain despite the long-term pain of unhappy Clients. Those Clients share their pain with others.
Plus, the salesperson knows that what (s)he is doing is bad business. It is bad salesperson mojo, and it will come back to bite you. It always does.
Too many salespeople also lie by selling on price. Typically that is all they have to sell on, so they resort to it every time. Perhaps it is a bad habit. More likely it is a limitation within their sales personality. Most salespeople are “wired” to do little more than share price and take the order.
Salespeople do what their sales manager allows them to do or models for them. If you have poor sales leadership, it will absolutely make its way to your sales team where it can be difficult to eradicate.
Short-term gain is never worth it.
Lying in any manner opens up the door to mojo-destruction. It creates angry Customers who figure out they have been “had.” These people become brand terrorists, and rightfully so. Just do not lie. Ever.
Selling on value is the embodiment of integrity.
The truth is Customers deserve every ounce of value a salesperson and their company can deliver. After all, they are paying for the product / service. The salesperson deserves to sell on value because it creates a “sticky relationship.” This in turn leads to more commissions.
The business model deserves to have salespeople sell on value because revenues and margin pay the bills and drive growth. Shareholders deserve salespeople who sell value because they deserve the highest return on their investment.
You will have happier Customers who know up front the value your product / service provides. You deliver, you win. They win. Everybody is happy.
Build and cultivate a team that closes sales on value.
Make the decision to build a World Class sales team with integrity. But watch out - integrity is difficult to properly ascertain in an interview. Reference checks are the best way, but many organizations view them as an afterthought. There are some Driving Forces patterns that can point to the possibility of integrity gaps, but they are not definitive.
Few salespeople can / will sell on value without serious accountability. Few sales managers are capable of such accountability. Therefore, the great majority of Customers, salespeople, businesses and shareholders miss out. They cannot sell on value. To me, there is a truth and art to selling. Few salespeople have the capacity to sell on value. Creating strong value is a powerful truth.
From the top of your organization, it is critical to model the way. Share the vision of what your products / service solutions do for the Customer. Live and breathe your truth. It is good for you and it is always good for business.
Accountability is essential.
Salespeople who bend the truth need to be dealt with accordingly. Hold them accountable.
When you find those who lie, cheat or steal, it presents an opportunity to send a powerful message to the rest of the sales team. Remove these salespeople immediately.
Never compromise your own integrity or that of your organization.