I remember reading a study done a while back on the characteristics of the top 1% of sales professionals. There was one that jumped out to me at the time as it is not normally associated with the profession, Impeccable Honesty.
The study found the best sales professionals were impeccably honest with everything they did at every level. They were honest with their clients, gatekeepers, managers, forecast, everything. Generally, when people think about salespeople, honesty is usually not the first thing that pops into their mind.
We’ve all heard “buyers are liars” right? I don’t necessarily agree with that but even if they are, fine, let them be. We’ve also heard “two wrongs don’t make a right” which is something I do agree with. I wonder who lied to who first and started us down this path to where we are today. Was it the client who lied or misrepresented the situation to the Sales rep or vice versa?
Here are a few things that I consider breaking the “Impeccable Honesty” rule.
- Sending someone an e-mail for the first time and putting “RE:” in the subject line to pretend like you’re responding to one of their e-mails.
- Being late to a meeting and saying you were stuck in traffic.
- Leaving those 20%ers in your pipeline and continuing to push them out every month to make your forecast look better than it is.
- Calling a list of random ‘dead’ phone numbers just to hit your 50 dials a day.
- Asking for 15 minutes of someone’s time when you know it will take more.
- Telling a C level that you got their cell phone number from the receptionist when you didn’t.
If you’re doing any of these please stop, Help improve this profession and its perception. Sales is the best profession in the world when done right, it’s the worst when done wrong.
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