Sales – Honesty is the new policy…Really?

Back to All Posts
October 22, 2009
I recently read and was intrigued by a blog post by Scott Shaeffer called "The New Authenticity Defined".  He talks about that which comes naturally for many of us, but appears to be a true shift in selling tactics for many others.

So, what does that say about the old policy?  Dishonesty?  Lacking authenticity?  WOW, that in itself is a little frightening, and has likely created some habits by customers NOT to trust sales people that are going to be very hard to break.  I have been working with our internal teams over the past few weeks to develop our strategic plans for 2010 and in these discussions we have looked closely at what differentiates our company in this industry from the competition.  Overwhelmingly, it has be our honesty and our refreshing integrity promise.  The good news is that it puts us ahead of the game because we don’t have to learn a new way of doing business.  The bad news is that it indicates that our customers and prospects are so used to sales pitches being dishonest that we have some expectations to change out there.  Our existing customers already know what we are about so it is up to us to continue to earn that trust.  However, if everyone is out selling with this new "honest" approach, does it begin to muddy the waters as to what "honesty" really means?

In his blog post, Scott explains that:

"The New Authenticity is focused on service and personal credibility with our customers versus arm wrestling and psychological sales tactics. Don’t misunderstand; sales professionals who practice The New Authenticity are attempting to maximize their selling opportunities. The New Authenticity teaches that we can be forthright, open and protective of our customers as a means of being more effective, even if it means we may forfeit sales in the short term."

My naive nature has me hoping that those of us who have always naturally used this approach a will already be much better at it than those just learning how to be authentic and honest.  Unfortunately, it might just end up teaching a whole bunch of sales people how to better fake honesty.  My faith in the human race, however, has me convinced that honesty will prevail and some things just cannot be fabricated.  What do you think?