How to Be a Good Salesman Without Lying

by Neil Kokemuller

Despite a history of high pressure and sometimes deceptive practices, selling in the early 21st century requires a high degree of integrity. Lying may get you a short-term transaction, but it doesn't give you much hope for long-term success. Following a few basic principles of effective selling allows you to sell and earn money without lying.

Think Long-Term

The first key to succeeding in sales without lying is to think long-term. If your primary goal is to get sales at all costs, lying becomes an easy temptation. If your goals are to maximize customer relationships and sales over time, it is easier to focus on the benefits of honest selling. The simple reality is buyers won't likely return if you lie, cheat or steal to get a sale. Plus, the chances of getting referrals from cheated customers are pretty slim.

Believe in What You Sell

Lying is unnecessary if you have a product or service that you believe in. The best way to sell honestly is to tell customers about the amazing benefits and value of your solutions and to truly believe what you say. If you sell insurance, know your products inside and out and understand the value each offers to prospective insurance buyers. Ideally, you use your products yourself. This gives you a high degree of credibility when you try to convince someone else to buy.

Find the Right Buyers

A great product or service still needs the right buyer. If your great solution doesn't fit the needs or desires of a given product, you have a choice to make. You can exaggerate benefits or lie about your product's capabilities, or you can be honest and look for the next, right buyer. If you force a product on a buyer who won't get value, he will feel ripped off. This can lead to negative word-of-mouth, and that damages opportunities with the right buyers. Additionally, your prospect will appreciate your honesty and is more likely to come to you with future needs and to refer friends and family.

Be Persuasive

Honesty alone doesn't make you a good salesperson. When you do have a ready, willing and able buyer, your ability to artfully persuade must kick-in. This includes building rapport, asking questions to identify a prospect's needs and emphasizing the benefits your solution offers to match the needs of the buyer. Product demonstrations, testimonials and other proof tools can help to support the value you want to convey. If a customer has doubts about your product or price, prepare to offset them with specific benefits and a cost-benefit analysis that shows him long-term value.

About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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