There are hundreds of ways to close a sale, a multitude of sales skills and a seemingly endless supply of sales gurus touting their "new and improved" sales approach. Knowing different methods to close a sale and sharpening your sales skills are hugely important as is knowing how to approach your sales position.
But when push comes to shove and your career (or a large sale) is on the line, you may want to consider forgetting about which close to use and focus on taking the honest approach to sales instead.
What Is The Honest Approach to Sales?
Customers and prospects alike are significantly more informed than ever before. With a simple Google search, people can learn a lot about your product, service, company, industry, competitors and, depending on your social network, about you.
With a practically unlimited amount of information available to them, customers are better equipped at identifying "less than honest" statements made by sales professionals aggressively trying to close a deal. And when a customer senses that the sales rep sitting across her desk is not being honest, all rapport goes down the drain, along with the sales rep's chances of earning a client.
An honest sales approach begins with a decision made by a sales professional to treat her customer with the utmost respect; understanding that without customers, her company would no longer be in business. The honest approach to sales does not mean that the sales rep is not assertive in trying to earn a sale but that all actions and steps completed or planned to earn the business are founded on honesty.
The Short-Term Benefits of Honesty
The allure of telling a small "white lie" is powerful at times. When you know that your competitor is offering your prospect something that you know you can't fully compete with, the thought of exaggerating your product or service can be tempting. Doing so, however, often has very negative short-term ramifications.
One of the worst results of embellishing during a sales meeting is you often position yourself in a situation to have over-promised and, eventually, under-deliver. Taking a fully honest approach may indeed cost you some deals that could have been closed by employing a less than honest approach, your self-confidence and self-esteem will realize a wonderful bump in improvement. You will feel better about your sales skills, knowing that you do not have to rely on dishonesty or "tricks of the trade" to be considered in a customer's sales cycle. And when you close an honest sales cycle, you will rest easier at night and be more comfortable in your success knowing that your victory was truly earned and that you earned it!
The Long-Term Benefits of Honesty
Unless you plan on being in sales for only as long as it takes you to find a job in a different industry, being aware that the actions you take today will affect your tomorrow is one reason why being honest in your dealings is important.
Whether you accept it or not, what you do in your professional career can and will follow you throughout your career. Over-promise something to a customer and don't be surprised that the customer will let everyone in their network know about you as a sales professional. Conversely, adopt an honest approach to your career and your satisfied and loyal customers are not only likely to buy from you again but will also let others know how professional and honest you are. The results? More sales, more success, and more opportunities.