When my very competitive older son played baseball on his little league team, he would relentlessly slide at every opportunity.

As hard as he worked to catch a line drive or to be called safe at his intended base, I worked equally as hard to keep those white knickers and socks grass and dirt stain-free! I can still remember soaking and pre-washing in combinations of stain removers and bleach, then washing with a detergent that promised to be the “toughest on tough stains”, and it was! In fact, I was always very proud of my due diligence as I folded up that half of his uniform and placed it in his chest of drawers awaiting his next game and my next laundry challenge.

One Saturday morning my son came into the kitchen dressed for a game and said to me with in a very sincere voice, “Mom, could you try to not get my pants so clean- it looks like I sit the bench!”

What a revelation! Unbeknownst to me, all my effort and attention to detail was resulting in giving the wrong impression. Such is true in the sales process as well.

While it is important to give our customers the service that they need, it is equally as important not to engage in an over-abundance of servicing to the extent where there is a perception that we sit the bench or in sales terms, have very few other clients.

Whether you are new rep just getting started or a veteran rep that has recently taken over a struggling territory, moved to a start up area for your company or simply going through a slow period, it is wise to portray the level of success that you
aspire to as opposed to your current status.

This is certainly not to be deceitful or dishonest. The reason is two-fold. First, to ensure that your time is not taken advantage of, hence keeping you from making those all-important initiating new business contacts. Secondly, people generally have more confidence to buy from successful people. Both of these are addressed with more perceived playing time in the field, just like my young athlete son.

Why are sales people so compelled to lie?

Once I confirmed it was our mattress that was causing my morning back pain, I made an inquiry call to the big box furniture store where it was purchased. A salesperson quickly stated that the current mattress “probably” only had a 5 year warranty & that it was no longer available- but he could have the upgraded version delivered to me in 2 days. His next question was,  “which credit card will you be using?”!

Uncomfortable with the whole conversation, especially the “probably” of my warranty…I opted to drive the hour to the store to ask more questions. The result was that it actually had a 15 year warranty with a 100% covered replacement; upgrade & all, and delivery fees included!

When my siblings and I were kids, our parents sometimes told us little made-up stories to protect us- that was the right thing for them to do because they had our best interest at heart.  But the blatant dishonesty of salespeople is always the wrong thing– because the truth is: it’s never for the good of the customer!