Employees often find it challenging to stay honest when the competition is fierce, the pressure to perform a necessity in a turbulent marketplace. An employee needs to be militant with their honesty when dealing with clients. They need to clearly differentiate the difference of just making the sale to that of building a loyal client relationship anchored in trust.
It may be tempting to sneak in white lies about your product, delivery, competition or anything that makes you look good and the competition bad. But being dishonest only leads to short term gain and longer term pain as it impacts trust, loyalty and reputation.
Being impatient often leads to dishonesty. Therefore following a standard sales and service protocol protects your business and your clients. But it can also lead to reams of paperwork, endless phone calls, struggling through “red tape” and a waste of time. Most people would rather just move on to the next sale – that’s what makes them more money and profit.
Being too impatient is just bad sales and service advice, even for savvy salespeople. Take the time to finish the sale and reward your customers with benefits – that will help you earn customer loyalty. Have the patience to follow procedures and you won’t end up making dishonest claims that come back to hurt you and your business. Stay patient and stay out of trouble.
You are hurriedly trying to close a deal with a large commission. Your customer wants to buy a product immediately. But they then request a certain service be added on, which may or may not offer. Instead of checking with your team to ensure it’s possible, you say “no problem, I know we can get you that right away” and continue with the sale.
You folded to the pressure of wanting the commission and the timeline of the potential client. Unfortunately you later find out that the option is unavailable. Your hasty dishonesty either cost you the sale, your customer’s loyalty in the future, or all of your commission in making up the difference.
Follow your procedures and processes without cutting corners for the quick buck. Make the call to clarify whether you offer what exactly is needed. Tell your potential client how you’ll go an extra mile to get their sale, but actually back up your verbal agreement. If they want it fast, then don’t promise what you can’t handle but tell the truth. Always try and do it right the first time and avoid long term problems.
If you exaggerate, you are being dishonest. If you are trying to close deals and achieve client loyalty, then exaggeration is just like lying and it can get you into business-threatening situations.
Avoid boastful claims and half-truths. Be accountable for your words, your product and your business. Clients appreciate hearing accurate information. They’ll think your exaggeration is just lying when they find out (not if they find out – they eventually will). Be accountable.
You have a potential customer inquire about how a previous client enjoyed your service. You tell them that “they were always, always pleased” and “we went above and beyond what any other business would do for them.”
Then you find out that this potential customer has contacted your previous client. Of course their story ends up being quite different, whether the service was bad, average or good – it simply wasn’t great. Now this new client is questioning your integrity and honesty. You’ve just exaggerated your way out of a sale instead of landing a big deal.
Simply this: “never exaggerate what you or your product can do!” Stick to the truth and be accurate. This doesn’t mean telling people about all the negatives – just be discreet. Don’t go above and beyond the actual benefits if it isn’t honest. If you are hiding past troubles, be honest about them only if you are asked first. If you add a dash of discreet honesty to your sales technique, customers find they can trust you.
If you ever find your techniques veering into being impatient or exaggerating claims, remember to choose honesty. When the competition or the marketplace may be worrisome, losing customers over dishonest practices is simple to avoid. Earning client loyalty in the long term will lead to future success. Honesty is still the best policy!