Do Salespeople Lie?

LyingOuch!  This very question is a thorn in the side of most salespeople and sales managers.  Most CEO’s and V.P.’s of Sales don’t want to discuss it.  Yet, when ordinary consumers are asked “what is the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word “salesperson”, it is most often Liar.  Followed by Arrogant, Loud, Egotistical, Poor Listener, and Relentless to name a few.

Who would want to associate with anyone fitting this description?  Since sales are the vital link in the success of a company, you might think that employees who behave this way should have no role in any enterprise. It is surprising that most companies tolerate (and sometimes depend on) those salespeople who bring home the bacon at any cost.

Why would any company owner or senior executive tolerate those salespeople who lie, misrepresent, and shade the truth about the product or service they sell? When asked, these leaders usually quote the company policy that forbids dishonesty while disclaiming any responsibility for encouraging it.  When aked to explain why a salesperson lied, the most common managerial retort is, “I didn’t tell him/her to say that.”  They often point to a formal reprimand or point out that a salesperson was fired for lying to a customer.

Recently I had some experiences with a major corporation in the business to consumer sales field that was replete with customer claims that they had been lied to by the sales representative.  These customer complaints were so pervasive that the company set up a department to assuage the customers by offering something free or refunding a portion of what they paid.  The company sales training program is based on sales techniques and tactics from the 1960’s and their policy is that they do not hire managers or salespeople with other types of sale experience.  Their sales techniques are purely emotionally based sales pitches that are based on a one call close because they know if the customer does not buy when emotionally high, they have no chance of landing a sale.  This operation is driven quantitatively, not qualitatively.

This is not a new phenomenon.  I have seen few sales organizations that demand straight talk, complete transparency, and that are based on doing what is best for the customer.  The demands for growth that is levied on publicly owned corporations that focus on quarterly sales goals encourage senior management to drive sales, not ethics.  Companies need revenue and few know how to drive it ethically.

I am convinced that all of this is going to change as the sales process becomes an automated buying process.  I believe that Artificial Intelligence and Interactive Voice Response  systems will dramatically replace the selling function by enabling buying. I think that sales will focus on marketing that drives interest and systems that make it easy for the consumer to buy.  Top-tier, highly skilled  representatives who are expert at collaboration and consulting will thrive.

After all, who wants to have to endure salespeople who lie, are arrogant, who don’t listen well, and are relentless in their drive to ‘land that sale”?

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Harrison Greene is the Founder of Unique Selling Systems. He helps companies prepare for and capitalize on the changing role of salespeople today.

 

What Do You Really Know About Your Company?

The recent debacle at United Airlines caused me to wonder if company leaders really know what is going on within their company, with their employees, and most of all with their customers.

I recently called one of the premier tourist parks in Orlando at 9:00 PM during a week night to get some information about rates for 5 adults and 2 children to visit and to stay in one of their hotels at the park for a week.

After waiting for on hold for 42 minutes, I was greeted by an agent who seemed to be in a trance about giving me information.  After explaining what kind of a package I needed, the agent quoted me a price of $17,460 that included a 2 bedroom suite and passes for everyone to the park and dinner every night.  Yes, $17,460.00.

I further investigated the park’s web site and found that the price the agent gave me was not correct.  So, it seems that this “premier” park has a multiplicity of prices and quotes depending on to whom you speak or what you can research on-line.

This type of situation happens frequently at most companies.  I think that a strong contributory reason is simply that top executives seldom actually check what their employees are doing.  They seem to rely on the mangers who are in charge ensure quality.

If  you are a senior manager or C-suite executive ask yourself:

  • When was the last time (if ever) that you called your main switchboard and asked to be connected to someone? You probably received a voice menu. Did you try it?
  • When was the last time (if ever) that you called the sales department to get information about your products/services?
  • If you are an airline executive or CEO when is the last time you went on-line, purchased a ticket on your airline, waited in line at the gate, and actually flew coach/economy?
  • If your company has an on-line order functionality, when is the last time you sat at home and ordered something from your web-site?

In short when is the last time you actually checked on what you think is being experienced by your staff, your employees, and especially, with your customers?

Give it a try.  You might discover why people do or don’t want to do business with your company.

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Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Selling Systems. He helps sales organization prepare their sales representatives today for the Future of Sales tomorrow.  He can be reached at 508-400-6103 or at harrison@uniquesellingsystems.com.

A Million Sales Reps Will Lose Their Jobs To E-Commerce by 2020

Yes, you read this headline correctly.  A million sales representatives will be displaced.

That is what Paul Demery, Managing Editor, B2B E-Commerce reports in an article that appeared on the Internet Retailer website.  He writes that those most likely to lose their jobs take orders for commodity products.

Paul’s website is https://www.b2bcommerceworld.com

He also cites a report “Death of a (B2B) Salesman by Forrester e-business analyst Andy Hoar, that projects 1 million sales reps, or 22% of the 4.5 million B2B sales agents now in the United States, will lose their jobs to e-commerce by 2020.

If you are a B-B Sales Representative or Sales Manager, you must read the rest of this article.  Your career and your income are in jeopardy and you need to be pro-active now.

Here is a link to the complete article:  http://bit.ly/2iENN5i

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Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Sales System and specializes in help sales representative and their companies prepare today for the Future of Sales tomorrow.

He can be reached at 508-400-6193 or via email at:

harrison@uniquesellingsystems.com

Is There a Future for Sales People As We Know Them Today

The time is now so you won’t be left behind.

The Exciting Future of Sales

This is a question that companies of all sizes need to wrestle with now.  While some companies are facing this head on, the majority seem to have adopted the famous ostrich act.

We recently posed this question on Linked In and received some interesting comments.  But this comment, by Brian Hasenbauer at Lead G2, was particularly prescient:

Brian Hasenbauer

Great rephrasing of the question – “Is there a future for Sales People as we know them today?”… my answer, NO. UNLESS, they have already embraced modern technology such as marketing automation, sales enablement and have come to the conclusion that warm leads trump cold calls. That’s the salesman of the future. The smart phone carrying, CRM using, marketing automation guru that uses lead intelligence to no longer make “cold calls” but “smart calls”… They understand and embrace technology, not hide behind their land lines phones and robo-dialers or direct mail…

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Are You Like The Cobbler Whose Kids Have No Shoes?

cobbler

Buyers rule!  Remember that.  Today selling is different.  Sales people should understand that when a buyer seeks out that which you are selling he or she has probably done the research they need to decide if you are the vendor they want to consider.  If your company is not able to back up its claims on their website, the buyer will wonder why.

The last thing a buyer wants to hear is ‘we don’t have time to make sure that our website reflects the reality of what we are selling because we are too busy making quality products for our customers that we can’t keep our website current’.

If your company is unable to devote the time to keep its website current, why do they have it?  If the services, they offer are not accurately reflected in their public image (their website) how can they expect their prospects or customers to believe anything a sales representative tells them?

Recently I was told by the V.P. of Sales for a web development company that offers search engine optimization services (SEO) that the reason they don’t rank higher in their own web page listing is because they are like the cobbler whose kids have no shoes.  Well, if they can’t devote time to ensure they are ranking well themselves, why would I expect that they will know how to ensure that their customers rank well?

Is your company too busy to ensure that their public information and the tools you need to sell are current?  Can you engender the trust you must have to succeed when your company doesn’t provide accurate and timely information?

When was the last time you checked your company’s website?  Are you telling your customers the same thing they have read before they even contacted you?

Or do your kids have no shoes?


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Selling Systems and specializes in helping sales organizations prepare today for the Future of Sales tomorrow.  He can be reached at 508-400-6193 or via email at Harrison@UniqueSellingSystems.com.

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Watch Your Language

pitch-me

Are you using sales terminology that was created in the last century?  Does your sales language reflect the professionalism that you must have today to resonate with prospects and customers?

What do you imagine your customers or prospects think when you tell them you want to ‘pitch’ them?  How do you think they feel when you refer to the proposal you are presenting as a ‘deal’?

What does a prospect think when you call them and refer to them as a lead when they were simply requesting information?

Does the language you use reinforce in the minds of buyers and prospects that you are only looking for a sale?  Or, do they appreciate someone who speaks to them as someone who is interested in their challenges, problem, or opportunities?

Today’s sales professionals use language that focuses on collaborating to find the right solution for their customers not on finding the best deal for themselves.  They view requests for information as just that and do not consider the request to be a lead.  They view it as an opportunity to answer questions and find appropriate solutions.  And when the present their solution they never refer to it as a ‘pitch’.

There is a distinct difference in the mindset of a sales person who ‘pitches’ and of the sales professional who provides service, recommends solutions, and collaborates with his or her customers.

This is the second decade of the twenty-first century.  Have you evolved?  Or are you still out their ‘pitching’?

Harrison Greene is the founder of Unique Selling Systems and helps prepare sales people today for the Future of Sales tomorrow.  He can be reached at 508-400-6193 or by email at harrison@uniquesellingsystems.com.