Integrity in sales starts when you look someone in the eye, shake their hand and introduce yourself. If you start off the relationship by being disingenuous about your position why would anyone want to buy from you?
Since the early 90’s the word “consultant” has become the buzz-word for sales organizations. Sales people now have the title of consultant written on their business cards and attached to their email signatures. Apparently, telling a customer you are a consultant rather than a sales rep will immediately place them into a hypnotic- trance, in which state they will agree to purchase whatever product you recommend. Apparently, a pig wearing lipstick is no longer a pig.
Look, customers want honesty first and foremost – they need to feel that their interactions with all vendors are based on integrity and candor. You need to provide them with that type of relationship regardless of the new title you have awarded yourself or been given by your company.
– Carry a quota
– Earn commission
– Add business to existing accounts
– Prospect for new business
– Cold call
You are not a consultant.
You are a sales rep, account executive, sales agent, outside sales rep, inside sales rep, telesales rep, sales person, account manager, major account manager, national account manager, business account executive…
Much of the use of the word “consultant” comes from a fear or embarrassment about the word sales person. There is nothing wrong with being a sales person, far from it. Most of this Country’s economic success is built on the backs of sales people who generate revenue, build customer loyalty and allow businesses to generate profits from their products and services.
How successful would any of the fortune 500 be without someone to sell their concept, services or products? Why are you not proud to be a sales person? If you call yourself a consultant, if you persuade the customer that you are a consultant what do you do when the time comes to act like a sales person? That’s right, in those circumstances your actions become a bright-neon-sign “I lied, I am not a consultant, all I want is to earn commission from you”.
Tell your customer, from the first interaction, that you are a sales person. Leave no doubt that your goal is to sell them something. I know this goes against all the recent trends in training and sales philosophy, but it works because it is completely honest. If your customer understands you have a quota to hit and a manager to report to they will, if they are a good customer, be more respectful of your time and efforts.
As a sales person, you have the chance of over-delivering by allowing your actions; your integrity and honesty, to differentiate you from all those sales reps pretending to be consultants.