Sales “Lies” to Avoid

Tue Feb 4, 2014

Jessica Helinski

N1301P31001CIt’s time to quit lying to yourself (and prospects) if you truly want success. S. Anthony Iannarino, in a recent blog post, challenges readers to stop telling lies not only to themselves, but also to that potential dream client. Sugarcoating potential pitfalls ahead and making empty promises needs to stop if you’re going to build an honest relationship. “Telling the truth may make it more difficult to win [the sale], especially when your dream client wants to believe something that isn’t true,” he writes, “but if you want trust, if you want a relationship, and if you want to win the long game, you tell the truth.”

A common lie that emerges during the pitch process is that better results will be easy, when in fact, bumps in the road are inevitable. By promising an easy path, Iannarino cautions that you are only setting expectations too high – and setting up the prospect for disappointment. Instead, he encourages salespeople to be honest about the learning curve that lies ahead, but emphasize that improvements will be made over time. “Tell them you are going to need them to give you air cover as you make mistakes and learn,” he suggests.

Have you ever found yourself promising worry-free, easy results when making a pitch? Do you agree with Iannarino that this promise is unrealistic? How have you clued prospects into potential challenges ahead without losing the sale?

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About Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on the specialties of local account category research and audience trends. She reports on sales and presentation tips for Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.

View all posts by Jessica Helinski