Friday, February 22, 2008

Take a Sales Lesson from a President

No matter what the post office, banks and retail shops may think, today is George Washington's actual birthday. U.S. schoolchildren grow up learning the story of how young George chopped down the cherry tree and couldn't lie about it to his father. The merit of this tale still holds true today, especially for sales professionals.

While most of us would agree that lying to customers and prospective customers is wrong, who hasn't stumbled over the truth when it comes to making promises - promises we're later unable to keep?

Sales coach Keith Rosen asks, "Do you have a hard time telling customers the truth about how long a project may actually take, or cost? Is your schedule frequently overbooked? Have you ever withheld information that you knew your customer wanted or needed to hear because you feared a confrontation, or losing the sale?"

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, Rosen believes you may be a "yesaholic."

In Top Dog Sales Secrets, Rosen advises, "Being honest about what you know to be true, and sharing this with your customer - even if the customer may not like what you have to say - is the most effective strategy to manage the expectations of your customers and reduce time consuming problems. You will make more money, have happier customers, generate more referrals, and deal with fewer headaches by telling the truth, and learning to occasionally say "no."

So, in honor of our first President, be brave and opt for some truth-telling when necessary today. Your customers will appreciate your candidness and you'll find your relationship will be stronger for it.
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