Week 7 of 21 Disciplines – The highest degree of integrity.
You cannot be one kind of person and another kind of salesperson. As a Sales Manager, you cannot tolerate (or afford) to have unethical salespeople in your company. One thing that should get a sales rep fired on the spot is lying to, and/or misleading a customer or prospect. How your sales reps act with your clients is a reflection on you and your entire company. This rule should be posted and communicated to every rep (and employee) starting on their first day of employment.
There are really (at least) two sides to Trust in, Like – Trust – Buy. One side of Trust is your customers trusting you to help them get their orders processed, products installed, etc., in a timely, professional manner. The other part of Trust is the belief of your customer that you are honest and always tell them the truth. It’s that simple and straightforward. As the Sales Manager, or anyone else, you have no control what comes out of someone else’s mouth. What you do have control over are the consequences your sales reps will face for not telling the truth, stretching the truth, or withholding the truth. Yes, there is also deceit when there is lying by omission; which is withholding information you know might have negative consequences for you or customer. This is actually the more common form of sales lying. Some areas you see this is where a prospect or customer:
- Shipment gets delayed and is not told or given some other story.
- Is not made aware of a price decrease that has been announced.
- Is not told of new features or options in your product that would reduce their overall cost.
Like most business ethics, you need to take a step back and ask yourself, if you were on the other side of the table, would you want to know this information?
All the situations where your sales reps show a lack of integrity will reduce the Trust your prospect or customer has in you and your company. When there is no Trust, there is usually no Buy.
Part-Time Sales Management