Integrity in Sales
By: Sarah Salatin
Recently, I came across a post on LinkedIn advising sales professionals to meet their quotas by railroading their customers into closing deals prematurely.
I strongly disagreed with this questionable business tactic. I felt compelled to leave my two cents and commented something to the effect of: “Your customers don’t owe you any favors, and it is your responsibility to serve them with integrity.” Then I moved on with my scrolling.
The post has stuck with me, though, and I find myself reflecting on it often.
There is a salesman that calls our office weekly looking for Mark Frasco, the owner and founder of COACT Associates. He refuses to provide any identifying information, starts off every call with the word “Yo,” and acts as though Mark is expecting his call. He demands to speak with him as if they are already well-acquainted and has even gone so far to invent a nickname for him.
Anyone who answers our main line knows calls rarely, if ever, come in for members of our leadership team that way. If they are expecting a call, it will go to their direct dial or cell number.
I understand the frustration of not being able to reach the decision-maker on a cold call. I call 40-50 businesses a day to learn if I can offer valuable solutions for their organizational needs. Each call is hit or miss. Each call is an opportunity to best represent myself, my company, and my clients.
Core values are instrumental in guiding the behavior of employees. They provide a strong foundation to build your organization. I served in the United States Air Force from 2001-2007. We had three core values:
- Integrity first
- Service before self
- Excellence in all we do
COACT Associates also has governing principles. We have a Purpose that defines us, a Vision that inspires us, Core Values that unite us and Strategies to guide us. There are nine core values we strive to adhere to; one is not more important than another. Two, in particular, are echoing in my head:
- We complete our work with high integrity – we are truthful and forthright in all of our dealings
- We seek opportunities to serve – we are totally committed to the satisfaction of our clients and understand that every interaction is a moment of truth that creates an impression
Reaching your sales quota at the expense of your company or clients isn’t a win. Rushing a prospect into a deal they aren’t ready for benefits no one.
Bottom line – integrity and honesty are non-negotiable.