“Yes I can do that. Of course I can provide what you need.” It happens all too often. Did you even think about what you said? Did you realize what you were doing? How could you?

How could you lie right to your customer’s face?

If you were to take a poll and ask the question “What professions contain the most liars”, salespeople would have to be near the top. It is absolutely pathetic to hear of all the unmet expectations, unresolved issues, and unfulfilled promises. It is second nature to say things we don’t mean or don’t know just to get the deal. You make your deal, collect your money, and move along. But what is left is a scarred customer, gun-shy from future salesperson interactions. I wanted to provide some tips to avoid lying to your customers. I hope you find them helpful.

  1. Know your capabilities. You need to know what you are (and are not) capable of. If you work for a company, dig deep into the company and learn…quickly if possible. If you own your own business, dig deep into yourself and be honest with what you can and can’t do.
  2. Know what you are best at. Even if you are able to do certain things, you may not do them very well and they may be better left for someone that excels in that area. It’s ok to not be good at everything. When your not, see #5.
  3. Think before you speak. Understand that what you agree to has ramifications far beyond that transaction. A unfilled promise can hurt your future chances of selling to that company or worse, may do damage to your customer’s business. Allow for a moment of silence to think about what you are going to answer when asked a question.
  4. Love your customers. You should love your customers enough to do for them what you expect in your own purchase transactions. Better yet, exceed that. You should be willing to NEVER hurt your customers. If that sounds weird or awkward to you, you may just be in the wrong business.
  5. Find a few solid partners. You need strategic partners that can compliment your weaknesses. As a business owner, this is all but a must. As a salesperson, know people in complimenting businesses that can provide value to your customers even when you can’t (or in addition to your value). I personally have at quite a few that I trust a whole bunch.
  6. Be willing to say no…to your company. If you are asked as a salesperson to sell something you don’t think your customers will benefit from, don’t sell it. If that means you need to go find another job, do it. The worst excuses I hear come from sales people that blame their employers. If you are good at what you do, your employer may just consider what you’ve said. And if not, you’re good enough to find a new employer to offer success to.

Bottom line is: don’t be a liar. There are enough of those out there and you don’t need to add to the number. If you do the right thing every time you get the opportunity, you will ultimately be successful in your business.