Top Ten Selling
Handing my credit card to the server in a restaurant one evening, I noticed the pictures of two cute kids inside the plastic wallet that held the receipt. I asked her how old her kids were and she said, “Oh, I don’t have kids. Those are pictures of Jill’s kids.” She pointed toward another server close by, bent close to me and said, “I wouldn’t lie about them being my kids, but most people don’t ask. And having those pictures in with the bill sure does get me bigger tips!”
In general, there is a stereotypical view of salespeople. I think we can all agree that the sales profession is one that has its share of examples of less-than-desirable and unprofessional activities. And yes, in my opinion, a server in a restaurant is in the sales profession.
With stories of high-pressure telemarketing sales representatives, news reports about scam artists preying on the elderly, and the ever-present tales of the used-car salesman, honest and good salespeople can be seen as guilty simply by association or the title they bear.
Having hired, developed and worked with thousands of salespeople, I can tell you that with the best salespeople, honesty is paramount. Honesty is vital in all regards, from pricing integrity, to product quality, to features, benefits and setting performance expectations.
When I think of honesty, it reminds me of the early days building the sales organization at BellSouth Mobility in Atlanta. I interviewed a woman for a position in sales who said she was presently working as a soft drink spy. The purpose of the soft drink spy was to protect the renowned and trademarked name of a soft drink manufactured by a huge soft drink company.