Monday, September 28, 2009

CORE VALUE: Communicate Honestly and Fearlessly

Great sellers always communicate honestly and fearlessly. These uncommon performers don't tell their bosses, employees, co-workers or customers what they think they want to hear. They tell them the truth, as they see it, all the time, every time. They believe that "truth" will earn them trust; And they are right!

That's not to say that fearless communication might not cost the GS ("great seller" :) a customer or even a job one day. But if so, neither was worth keeping. Being known as a scrupulously honest person, will go a long way toward earning you the trust you will need in order to to establish productive relationships so as to be able to perform remarkably.

Many salespeople (and character rather than inexperience is controlling) forecast either aggressively or too conservatively. "Hey Joe," the manager begins. It's the twelfth of the month and you've got a humongous budget and haven't booked one shilling. Have we a problem?" Joe replies, "A problem? Surely you jest. I will hit 120% of my budget this month. Take it to the bank!"

The boss issues a huge sigh of relief and signs $120,000 worth of purchase orders because Joe's a veritable cash cow. When the boss' checks bounce and his superior begins to wonder about his judgement, it becomes clear that Joe's fear about reporting the truth has cost the company, and his boss, dearly. First because they spent money they didn't have and second, because Joe didn't give his management the opportunity to see if they could intervene and help him bolster sales. Joe's insecurity, leading to dishonesty, may have bought him a little time, but probably very little.

Or, Joe replies to the same question this way, "A problem? I'll say we have a problem. Next month will be okay, but I'll be lucky to keep what I have on the books now much less add a dime this month. That'll put me about at roughly 9.76% of budget. Now Joe, who was determined to be a hero this month, knew he would, and evenutally did, come in over budget. He was sandbagging. But instead of breaking open the bubbly at the end of the month when Joe came crashing through his budget, the trained manager says, "Joe, your inability, or unwillingness to forecast accurately, and/or truthfully, has wreaked havoc with my planning and perhaps the growth of the company. More accurate forecasting is a skill you need to develop; Oh yes, and quickly!"

Expect to be questioned about bad news you deliver, and respond truthfully again. Be prepared for the conversation. Communicate it with neither exaggeration nor minimalization. Be prepared with possible solutions and be open to the boss' ideas. The sun doesn't shine all day every day. Things don't go as planned all the time, no matter how well planned, or executed. If you are nimble, are seen as a problem solver and honest, you are a valuable employee--and a valuable seller--an uncommon seller--a remarkable seller--a great seller!

Tell the truth always; Especially to yourself!

Great Selling!

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