Marketing campaigns, sales quotas, and sales awards are soon forgotten. Yet, your reputation seems everlasting—it is the essence of what others remember about you. How will you be remembered?

Mark Twain said, “If you tell the truth you won’t have to remember anything”. This adage makes sense to me. I don’t want to have to remember who I’ve told what, or worry about who might find out what I did or did not say. You can see how this applies to selling—telling the truth is an integral part of selling and a critical determinant of your reputation.

Sales people get challenged daily to meet their customers’ expectations or needs. It has been my experience that customer needs don’t always fit your company’s offering. Old school sales training challenged the sales person to push harder on the customer to overcome their “objections”. The customer just needed to be sold or convinced of your product’s fit or superiority. In effect, the customer was ignorant or uninformed.

While this type of persistence may pay off, some sales people have taken this message to the extreme by telling the customer whatever is necessary to get the deal—in other words, they lie. Of course, this behavior is dead wrong.

Besides showing poor self esteem and strong personal insecurity, these inflated claims or half-truths are unethical and will do more damage than good in the long run. Most customers will remember you and the falsehoods—good luck in ever getting their business again.

A half-truth is a whole lie and lies will ultimately damage your reputation. Instead, why not choose to sell with integrity by just telling the truth. You will be remembered as being honest, which is far better than any year-end sales award or commission check.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

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1 Comment
  1. The definition of integrity according to Webster’s Dictionary is, “a rigid adherence to a code of behavior.” There are though many ways to look at a persons integrity. A person with integrity possesses many qualities. Three of these qualities are honesty, the ability to follow a moral code, and loyalty to yourself and your beliefs.

    A common dictionary definition of truth is “agreement with fact or reality”.


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