Yeah, yeah, smatterings of sales trainers see fit to advise audiences to tell incorporate one of these lame lies into their sales presentations. A very few high dollar sales professionals will tell one occasionally. Even you may be tempted to respond like this every once in a great while.
What are the seemingly harmless white lies they tell?
How about this one left on Voice Mail: “I’m in a meeting or helping another client. ”
Or how about the one that comes to mind when a gatekeeper asks, “Is he expecting your call?”
Then, of course there are those who have heard “No” and decide to call back with a disguised voice including the female sales person who calls with a low, sultry, voice, asking for the prospect by his first name.
Stories about colleagues who practice these white lies bring raucous laughter, tears of amusement and a shaking of heads at sales meetings. Even a few company presidents chuckle and say “Sales are sales …if it works, what’s the harm!”
And I look ‘em straight in the eye, tell ‘em what harm is done, and what they need to look out for from the few sales professionals who use these tactics.
“White lies” give the appearance of being a harmless means to a profitable end, but …
Let’s look a bit closer as we count the costs.
This email message, “I’m away from my desk or on the line with another client right now” is a bad habit and an especially ineffective bad habit if your goal is to do business with high-level decision-makers.
Take it out of context for a minute so you can see and feel the impact of that kind of message.
If you called the office of President George W. Bush after hours, what would you think if you received a voice mail message saying, “I’m either in a meeting or on the line with another citizen right now, please leave a message and I’ll call you back”?
Sounds goofy, fake, and wimpy—doesn’t it? So does yours.
This kind of message reflects your need to explain yourself, which in turn is the habit of a person who belongs at the lower levels of an organization. Lower level employees, by virtue of their job description, must always explain themselves to their superiors.
You don’t need to explain yourself. They called you and can leave a message. PERIOD.
When the executive assistant asks, “Is he expecting your call, ” some sales persons experience momentary brain freeze.
In a split second they are faced with a dilemma of character that demands a decision be made. The sales pro wonders, “Should I say, ‘Yes’ because that’s what it might take to get me through… or tell the truth and risk losing contact with the decision maker?”
And then there is the disguised, sultry voice thing. What’s up with that? Do they really think the executive assistant won’t catch on to that? Yeah, right!
Here’s the common thread that runs throughout these lame lies.
The conduct we choose is a clear reflection of our character.
During my study of the impact of character, a company president, Bill, shared this story:
I decided to do random drug testing throughout my company. I wanted to be fair and knew to do so I needed to randomly test all levels of employees, myself and the other executives included.
I decided ahead of time that if the tests results came back positive for drug use, I’d discuss this with the employee and give the person one of two options. He/she could chose to resign or to stay employed with us at no reduction in pay if he/she chooses to go through a drug detoxification-rehabilitation program at the company’s expense.
I was surprised and saddened that several of my executive-level colleagues tested positive for narcotics. And every person who tested “positive” insisted “The tests are wrong” and opted to resign from the company—rather than admit to the truth and take advantage of free help.
This business leader learned how a person presents himself is an issue of character. Character determines behavior. A person who has the character of a liar is devoted to lying—even to the point of refusing free help and losing a good job.
What traits do your behaviors reveal about your character? Regular use of words that reflect integrity are a good choice with which to start your prospect-client relationships or for that matter any relationships!
Forward this article to friends—they’ll thank you for it!
For your FREE mini-course “Jealously Guarded Secrets to Cold Calling Company Presidents” visit http://www.ColdCallingExecutives.com ! Or call Your Sales Coach for Extreme Profitability, author/speaker Leslie Buterin (like butterin’ bread) at (816) 554-3674 9-3 CST (that’s Kansas City/Chicago Time).