Blog Archive

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Integrity Selling Basics

In out last installment, we talked about integrity selling and juxtaposed it with everything less professional.  This time, let’s get down to the basics. Like, “Do you have the right job?” 

First of all, do you work for a company that will give you the latitude to invest yourself in integrity selling?  As mentioned before, it is not always the quick-fix.  Your bosses may only be interested in what you’ve done for them today, with no eye toward the future. It might pay off to discuss with them your new philosophy of integrity selling and try and instill in them some confidence that you really do have a plan.  If that falls flat, you can either change jobs or proceed with our new brand of integrity selling and prove to them that you are among the enlightened. A sales manager of mine long ago told me that “volume hides a multitude of sins.”  In the final analysis, it’s the numbers that count.  They don’t really care how you do it, honestly. 

But we do. We are embarking on a journey of sales professionalism - and it will treat you well!

Here is a scenario you might want to consider. Suppose you have decided that you are going to look for a new sales position. Interview the interviewer.  Pick his brain.  After all, you posses the most coveted skills in our economic framework. You make money move.  That is the linchpin of our economy.  You need to find out what he is. Is he a hack?  Or is he open to new ideas – ideas that can produce stunning results?  If he is a hack – move on.  You are the one with these invaluable skills for sale, after all. 

You need to really internalize this:  Without competent salespeople, the world stops.  Money has to keep moving or we are all dead in the water.  That is the reason that top executives in huge corporations come from sales.  Let’s face it, when was the last time you saw an engineer as CEO? Or, God help us, and accountant?  Have pride in being a sales professional. The whole world is counting on you.  Don’t accept just any sales job. You will regret it if they don’t at least have some appreciation for your sales integrity philosophy. 

Does your prospective employer provide training?  If they do, it is likely that it is simply product knowledge training. Take full advantage of it, but realize that it is not sales training.  In all likelihood a real sales education is something that you will have to provide yourself with. What do you do about that, hum? 

Just as an aside, I get up at 4:00 A.M. and start reading sales and motivational books, every day. Yes, Sunday, too. You will profit from the experience, as well, should you chose to join me. Get up early. You won't regret it.

As you are interviewing your interviewer, there are some other things to find out about that are important to integrity selling.  For example, will you be provided adequate work space?  Relationship-building requires a lot of desk work.  Will you have a place to do it?  This is often a problem in a retail situation where there is a sales floor and little else.  Will you be allowed time off the sales floor to do your all-important follow-up, thank you notes, etc., that are such crucial parts of integrity selling?  How does your prospective employer feel about allowing you time for outside prospecting?  Will they provide postage for your mailings? Will you have access to a computer and the internet?

In relationship selling – which integrity selling is – these are crucial things for you to find out before you accept a position. 

Do you believe in what you are selling and the firm you are selling for?  If not, find another job. Remember, you are among the most valuable assets a firm can have. If sales are not being made, they can’t pay the production folks, the secretary, or anyone else. Don’t sell yourself short in an interview.  Nothing happens until a sale is made.  Remember that. 

In the weeks to come, we will begin to discuss real specifics regarding sales techniques. For now, make sure you have a sales job that lends itself to integrity selling. If you don’t, put your mind toward finding one. It is the real first step toward integrity selling as a career.  

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by Kevin Connell
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