In selling integrity is everything. Sales people who mislead customers don't last very long in today's world of instant, global communication. On the other hand sales guys who value their integrity - honesty, empathy and efficiency - continue to excel, year after year.
The old tricks of the sales game simply don't work any more. Customers are smart, not easily fooled. Customers are empowered, informed by infinite sources. Customers are mean, reacting badly to being fooled. Delighted customers might make excellent friends but cheated customers definitely make fearsome enemies.
People used to agree "the salesman's only asset is his Rolodex". It seems the company still makes this device, but for anybody who doesn't know it, the Rolodex is a cylindrical device for storing index cards. This was where the salesman stored all his customer contact records. Of course, now we have great technology like Front Office Box to help us with this task, but in the old days all they had was index cards, and the Rolodex.
But the term Rolodex didn't just mean cards with names and addresses. What they meant was integrity, because you can't have a network of contacts (or Rolodex in their terms) if people don't trust you. So they really meant "integrity is a salesman's only asset".
Contrary to what most amateur sales people think, people do not buy from people they like. It might be hard to grasp but people don't really enjoy buying from people they like. The fact they like each other implies some level of personal relationship, and the creative tension of the buy/sell process can put that relationship at risk. How do you tell your golfing partner your moving your account from his insurance brokerage, because he's been doing a poor job for years?
When we're buying we don't want to hold back from doing the best for ourselves. We certainly don't want to worry about hurting the sales reps feelings. So, we probably prefer to buy from somebody we don't empathize with. This doesn't mean we have to dislike them, just that we don't want to live with them.
So how do we choose who we want to buy from then, if it's not people we like? Well, we're probably going to choose somebody who can advise us toward the best combination of product/service/price to meet our needs. We're going to buy from somebody who tells us the truth, and somebody who will stick around to help out if the delivery goes wrong.
In other words we're going to want to buy from somebody we trust - somebody with integrity! Somebody who tells us the truth, even when it's to their disadvantage, somebody who tells us things we don't want to hear because we need to know, somebody who doesn't agree with us just because we're the customer.
That same integrity is what helps us build the types of network that people used to describe as the Rolodex. People who want to do business with us, because they can trust us.Link to original post