DANGERS CREATED BY COMPROMISE IN SALES
Those sales professionals that research, prepare and involve their prospect’s in their fact-gathering process don’t need to compromise in what they say or do. It’s the person who believes that he or she can take short cuts (and still get a good result) that has to rely on compromise to ensure some kind of result. In the process, the way they set appointments, present their products and gather referrals also based on a variety of compromises, which because of individual inventiveness, may border anywhere from exaggeration to all types of deceptive practices. Here in Sydney, this term is known as “puffery”. In time, this “puffery” can develop into a more advanced stage, at which time, it is hard to distinguish it from varying degrees of downright fraudulent behaviour.
Now, if either you find these observations hard to believe, or you are disturbed by these comments, JUST ASK YOURSELF … when was the last time you:
• Exaggerated one, two or more points in your presentation.
• Purposely told a lie – perhaps just not to hurt your prospect’s feelings.
• Fabricated an answer to save face in a sticky situation.
• Made a false declaration about your product because it sounded better than the real story.
• Accepted an order, knowing full well you couldn’t possibly complete delivery by the agreed date.
• Promoted hearsay and gossip about your opposition, a peer or a manager without checking the truthfulness of the story first.
And so on …
If you did, perhaps you had better rethink your sales strategies. In the end, there can only be one real loser – and that’s you. But in the process, you leave behind a list of others who may also lose because of your actions.
The obvious losers are your clients, your company and perhaps the manufacturer. The not-so-obvious are the lost referrals, disappointed peers, immediate managers and closer friends. And the greatest tragedy is, that the least obvious to the compromiser, are the ones he or she will hurt the most – the members of the immediate and closer family.
BUT MANY STILL WANT TO DEFEND THE INDEFENSIBLE
In defence it is easy to say, “I’m not the only one who works this way, everybody I know does it”. Then let me ask you, does everybody you know do it too? Have you asked them? Are you really sure they do it, or are you trying to justify what you have accepted as your personal business code of ethics, in this and other jobs over the years.
AND THERE ARE DEFINITE PROBLEMS THAT STEM FROM THESE ACTIONS
The real calamity here is that there are two problems which are compounded as a direct result of compromise.
The first is, all compromises always start out small, but in time gradually grow bigger and bigger until they get so big that the one doing the exaggerating eventually needs to defends the exaggerated. Most of the time this is brought about because the story no longer sounds reasonable, or worse still, the story is no longer credible. When this happens, the person can choose to either tell the truth or try and defend the lie, or worse still, set in motion a new exaggeration to try and diffuse the old exaggeration.
I remember being told by an Psychologist once, that the much worked over phrase, “I don’t tell lies because I’ve got a bad memory, and to be a good liar you have to have a good memory”, is one that is usually told by those accomplished in telling lies …
Perhaps I should even soften the impact of these statements and continue to call them exaggerations or compromises – in fact, call them anything but lies. But no matter what you choose to call a lie – it is still a lie.
The second problem is, most people don’t set out to tell lies. At times they feel the need to exaggerate a little to make a point. Unfortunately, the more times they repeat that slight exaggeration, the more the teller tends to accept it as fact. Eventually that exaggeration becomes truth to the teller, and if they begin to believe it enough, they will convey it so convincingly, others will believe it and relay the lie as truth as well. In essence, the more times the lie is repeated, no matter how big or how small it may be, it increases the chance of that lie being accepted as genuine fact by the teller.
THE SOLUTION IS IN YOUR HANDS
Only the individual can decide whether to remain in a world of ethical and moral compromise – or rise above it.
CORRECTING THE PROBLEM IS EASY TOO
The reason why compromise rears its ugly head in the first place is because the salesperson has made a conscious decision to take what seems to be the easy way out. In the process, the formula for sales success is compromised, and there never has been, nor ever will be an easy road to success.
Success is hard work. If you don’t believe me, just ask anyone who has experienced success. Perhaps a better way of putting it, is to understand, THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO DO A WRONG THING. So what needs to be done is the seller needs to go back to basics in every aspect of sales and GENUINELY work at getting it right. However, I won’t spend a great deal of time in corrective work at this stage – the remainder of this book will do that if worked methodically.
At this stage I propose to give the reader basic points. If applied sincerely, these points will immediately help the reader back onto the right track.
Copy and distribute this content as often as you want. You are encouraged to share it. © Copyright Peter Collins, Sydney, Australia, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017
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This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 53 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 68 business books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. Peter had his first book published in 1969 and now has over 133 books in all, including Business, Marketing, Sales, Free Publicity, Body Language, Music and over 30 Christian books to date. Peters books have sold over 2.5 Million copies over 48 years. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
© Copyright Peter Collins, Profit Maker Sales, Sydney, Australia, 1994, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017, all rights reserved. Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com
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