So… You’re working your behind off and doing all the “right things” to only have one of your more unsavory team mates annihilate your sales numbers and become the new board leader. To make matters worse they’re notorious for saying/doing anything to make a sale and all that implies. Where’s the “what goes around, comes around”? Where’s the integrity?
I wish I could tell you that integrity always wins the day. Unfortunately there are many “successful” performers that have no integrity. They feel success using a Machiavellian strategy or “the end justifies the means” as credible. Others, like myself, are not subscribers to this philosophy and our perception of success is a success that we can live with and be proud to represent.
Sales people without integrity typically don’t last long. As a sales manager I have cleaned up my fair share of deals with “hair on them”. As a sales person I was always frustrated with the “winner” attention they received while still employed. My take overall, however, is that employers want professionals that can offer integrity selling.
“Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes. – Wikipedia”
What is integrity selling?
Integrity selling, for me, is a conviction I subscribed to years ago. I could never soundly sleep when my actions, values, methods, etc., were less than. I am uncomfortable when my actions are not up to the standards I have set for myself. Here is what I believe defines integrity selling.
1.) It’s having solid convictions.
Be prepared ahead of time. Integrity comes from knowing what you would do in a situation. There’s no deliberating about it. You already know the path you’ll follow. What’s nice about this is once people know what your “standards” are the less they’ll challenge them.
2.) It’s thinking of customer needs – not yours.
It is always tempting, especially if you’re a gifted persuader, to add items to the sale that have no real value to the customer. Long term relationships will suffer. Think long term… think loyal customer base.
3.) It’s being competent.
You can’t have integrity if you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s really that simple. You don’t need to know how the engineer designed something necessarily… but you do need to know enough to make sure your proposal is a good fit for your customer.
4.) It’s a strong work ethic.
If you make a promise fulfill it, whatever that takes. A strong work ethic is central to integrity selling. Expectations offered and perceived should be fulfilled. Consistency of actions is crucial.
5.) It’s clear and focused goals.
All of the above are not possible if there is not an end-game so to speak. You need to know your purpose, your direction, to have sales integrity. Changing direction in the sales process is simply not conducive to integrity selling. Be a consultant with purpose and direction.
While some have no desire to have integrity others like you and I know that it is imperative for long term success and relationships. My recommendation is to always sell with integrity. You’ll definitely sleep better.Photos courtesy of 123RF