Selling With Integrity: Keeping Honor in the Sales Game
By Carson V. Heady – WWW.CARSONVHEADY.COM
At its core, like the world we live in, sales is an honorable domain – a psychology and human understanding so intertwined with our daily lives that its essence is evident in many of the things we do and say.
While the world is full of evil elements and decay, I can put the windows down and drive south on the interstate with the sunlight beating down and the wind in my hair and make all of those things go away. There is enough beauty in the world to keep ourselves waking up every day. There is enough beauty in sales to keep us waking up to it every day as well.
Capitalism in its purest, utopian form, makes our world function monetarily; supply and demand, meeting customer needs and servicing the customer effectively and with care keep the machine finely tuned. However, just like the world, when the seven deadly sins – namely greed – enter the picture, anything can take a turn for the worst.
It is our duty, as noble knights of the selling profession, to keep honor in the game. True salespeople are not cheaters, not liars, and not human manipulators; they are listeners, they are givers and they are more concerned with putting the needs of the many in front of their own. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unscrupulous salespeople, sales managers and above in the selling game. Our prime directive, however, is to maintain discipline and integrity and ethics in what is a sometimes dirty game.
Just as the world is not inherently bad or evil, neither is sales. A few bad apples give the orchard a lousy name. Always remember: we have a holy trinity of sales to satisfy on every transaction – be it a solitary call or visit, a negotiation or a long-lasting relationship. The customer, the company and the salesperson must be satisfied on every deal – short-change any of those three and that is what leads to an unhealthy sales balance.
Many a time, I have seen companies talk out of both sides of their mouth; they dismiss shady selling out of one side, but on the other they promote it by doing nothing about it or commending great performances that were brought about unethically. Stay strong. Find ways to creatively weave everything into your arsenal without crossing the line. Once you cross, there is no going back.
Much of sales can be the words we choose to use, handling sales objections, overcoming fear and usage of statistics to further our cause of satisfying that holy trinity. However, when you start skipping steps, when you bend the rules, fudge the numbers, tell half-truths and slick your way to the sale, no one wins.
Think about it: sure, you may get to mark that stick tally on the board today and ring the bell. You may get that pat on the back from your boss. But when the product or service fails to deliver for the customer, who wins? When you or your company or your goods get a bad name because of that failure, who wins? What will be the potential fallout in the black eye of a faulty reputation?
The best salespeople see the big picture of all of their words, actions and strategies. And, in the end, no one wins (least of all the honor of the selling game) if you or anyone else gives sales a bad name.
Treat the selling game well and it will reciprocate.