Seth Godin’s post this morning struck with me, and I thought I would add my experience. Click over and read the whole thing, it is short. Here is a taste:
“You can already guess the problem with little lies. They blur the line, and they lead (pretty quickly) to big lies. The worst kinds of little lies are the ones you make to yourself. Once you’re willing to lie to yourself, you’re also willing to cheat at golf, and after that, it’s all downhill.”
I have seen how stubborn honesty can be a salesperson’s best friend. At one Fortune 500 company I worked for, we had a sales director that was known within the industry to be completely honest about how the market was doing and where prices were trending. His average prices were always higher than the other wholesale account managers, and he always sold the most volume. Everyone returned his calls.
Being completely honest with your customers, and even your team, is often more difficult on the questions that don’t seem to matter as much. It is critical to your reputation. In the end, your credibility is more important than your title, salary, or organization.
I have also seen what happens when someone agrees to sell a hard-earned reputation . . . . Heartache.