Most likely the people who tell you about their integrity probably have a problem with it. Integrity is not something that you talk about…it is something that you demonstrate. So, I’m certainly not going to tell you how much of it I think I have. I’d like to share with you what I believe integrity is. I’ve had these four things hand written on a small piece of paper and kept on my nightstand for a long time.

  1. Tell the truth
  2. Keep your promises
  3. Take responsibility for your mistakes
  4. Be what you claim to be

What level of integrity are you willing to live with?

Not everyone that you’ll deal with has these standards for integrity. For some reason, they don’t seem to care how others will perceive them in their future. Case in point; I recently bought a used car. Not too used with only 4,000 miles. I bought it one eBay from Lev’s Auto in Brooklyn, New York. The salesman, Mark Golub told me that the car had “no scratches, dents or dings.”He sent me dozens of photos that showed a flawless vehicle.

When the car arrived, it had nearly 1,000 more miles than advertised plus scratches and dents galore. I got an estimate of $5,600 to repair the damage to the car. After numerous excuses, denials and outright lies, Mr. Golub from Lev’s agreed to pay $500 of the repair bill. I turned him down out of principal and paid for the repairs myself. Integrity should not be for sale.

In a typical sales career you’ll meet thousands of people and have hundreds of thousands of sales interactions. Every one of them should be treated with the same principles: Tell the truth, keep your promises, admit your mistakes and be who you claim to be. In the end, it is a far better life to lead, and when you look yourself in the mirror, you’ll like what you see.

Action Selling in ACTION!

When we trained an Action Selling client, who will remain anonymous, they were using a tricky close that goes like this: “We have a delivery in your area coming up next week.

If I can get your order on the same truck, I’ll provide delivery at no charge. That will save you over $2000.”

The problem was that it wasn’t true. They used the “Impending Event Close” to create urgency to act now versus later. Basically, they attempted to create a Time Frame that was based on a situation that didn’t really exist. They asked their sales force to fib in order to create urgency.

We decided to change this. The first thing that needed to change is the timing and development of Time Frame questions. These needed to be asked following a Needs Assessment where needs were uncovered for the key capabilities of their product. Once these were identified, leverage questions were asked that turned up the heat on each need uncovered. Finally, Time Frame questions were created that combined the urgent need with the time frame.

“How soon would you like to see the problems associated with your current situation resolved?” When we create urgency this way, the customer buys for the right reasons and our integrity remains intact.

Experience the difference that selling with integrity can make.

Duane Sparks - What's Your Integrity Worth?

ABOUT DUANE SPARKS

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).