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SalesLinks Bulletin Archive

Aug 24-30, 1998

Dishonesty Has Many Faces

jack carrollby Jack Carroll

I've talked many times about the importance of repeat and referral business in sales. Repeat business and new business referrals from happy, satisfied customers will almost single handedly eliminate the frustrating experience of calling strangers (a.k.a. cold calling) and asking them to do business with you, someone they don't even know, much less trust.

Well, guess what the number one action on your part is that will practically guarantee customer dissatisfaction and an unwillingness to give you more business and referrals? A word that is much in the public political consciousness these days: dishonesty.

Dishonesty in sales usually takes one of three forms:

  1. An out-and-out lie designed to deceive the other person.
  2. Over-promising because you want them to regard you and your products favorably and buy from you instead of your competition.
  3. Giving partially incorrect or misinformation because you don't want to look like you don't know what you are talking about instead of saying, "I don't know the answer to that question."

All three are bad. And all three are correctable...IF you are honest enough with yourself to acknowledge and do something about the problem. Correction begins with self-honesty which is the most difficult and fulfilling honesty of all.

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Sales Tip and Practice
Take a look at your behavior and actions with customers. Where is there room for improvement in the honesty factor? Start with a list of customers that you wouldn't go to for a referral. Why not? Is any level of dishonesty by you or someone else at your company responsible? Go to work on it.

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