In the movie, “Hook”, Dustin Hoffman, playing Captain Hook, deliciously delivers a line to young Jack who accused the Captain of being a liar. Hook’s classic response: “Lie? But why, when the truth is so much more fun?”. Obviously, Captain Hook is selling.
Whether a pirate is manipulating a young hero to join his villainous crew, or the electronics sales associate is trying to hit his quota, successful sales involves the truth. Using the truth does not necessarily mean they use the whole truth. Undoubtedly, sales people bring their individual agendas. Nevertheless, great sales professionals seek to align their interest with the prospect’s interest, and facts help. Telling a great story helps, too.
Maximizing sales success and subsequent earnings requires longevity. Effectiveness goes beyond simply being honest. It requires accepting facts and sharing them with certainty. Then, the customer must be willing to believe them. Ironically, the more fantastic the claims that professionals make and then verify, the more success they enjoy. And, more success results in more earnings.
Aligning facts and results requires authenticity. The sales professional achieves more earnings with superior knowledge and confidence. Product and character must align. When the customer points out that a competitor has a better price, the experienced professional acknowledges that fact, then focuses on his company’s superior service. If the prospects counters with a better warranty, then the veteran reveals the competitor’s high employee turnover. The more available truths, the more opportunities to demonstrate superiority. Winners do not have the most attributes, they have the last attribute that matters! When product attributes and personal integrity combine authenticity results.
While facts are essential to competing successfully in sales, enduring success relies on easily digested information. The truth is more fun when facts are accurate, and information is delivered confidently. All great stories have heroes and villains. Often, it is difficult to tell the difference. Also, great stories have conflict and resolution. Great sales pitches are designed the same way. Ultimately, sales professionals identify and solve problems. That makes them heroes.
So, how does the hero have a happy ending in our sales story? First, the sales professional is the hero. Their success depends on controlling the narrative. The customer is obviously important. While other customers will enter the drama, the sales professional remains to continue managing assorted characters and conflicts. The resultant story requires that each prospect brings a challenge. Then, the hero prevails by conquering these challenges. This scenario does not imply that customer relationships are adversarial. It clearly dictates that successful sales heroes solve problems worthy of a great story!
To enjoy success, the hero must deliver a consistent story. Their admirable traits must exceed their questionable characteristics. Their narrative must consistently show integrity to take full advantage of new sales through referrals. Facts must be presented with authenticity and trustworthiness. In short, heroes tell the truth. Some prospects will escape without buying. More will come based on demonstrated knowledge and authenticity. More success will lead to better stories for the next prospect. Why is the truth so much fun? Because owning the truth results in more prospects, more referrals, and quickly more sales! What can be more fun than that?
By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond