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Would You Lie To Close a Sale?

If you said “no” off the bat — you probably didn’t imagine yourself backed up against a wall.

If you said “maybe” or “yes” — you aren’t a bad person, you might just be the type of person who would do anything to win or anything to make money.

This thought comes to mind after several conversations with my wife about sales. More specifically, when comparing your success in sales to someone else’s. How do you replicate their success? What the hell are they doing that I’m not? Odds are, you don’t see what they are doing behind the scenes. So, unless they show you — you’ll continue to wonder.

You don’t know what they are telling clients. You don’t know how they close a sale. You don’t know if they sprinkle lies in amongst truths. You. Just. Don’t.

My sales experience reigns from a thankless tour as a Navy Recruiter. We have all heard the kid that said, “my recruiter lied to me!!!” Well, mine did too. He did anything to make his quota. I went into it with the opposite mindset. I wasn’t going to be that guy, and nobody was going to convince me to lie just to make goal (meet your quota in recruiting). So, they didn’t convince me to lie. That equated to zero contracts my first few months as a recruiter or as they like to call it, a “donut” (a zero).

I started out lackluster at best. What was really happening: I was figuring out how to do it my way. My way = being honest. Finally, it caught on. I got a little traction, which turned into momentum as people started to refer their friends and family. It was all rooted in the blunt, blinding truth about what the Navy was actually like.

  • Long hours.
  • Deployments.
  • Stretches of time where you can’t communicate with family or friends.
  • Sh*t jobs that you didn’t want to do.
  • Duty days.
  • Missing holidays.
  • Missing birthdays, weddings, funerals, and graduations.

The list went on and was applied based on what I knew about the person. Wait, what?! Get to know someone before recruiting them into the military? Weird. What a concept. How the hell would you even know if it was right for them, meet their needs, or fit their lifestyle if you didn’t get to know them? You wouldn’t.

What did honesty do for me? It generated a foundation for openness and integrity from both directions. Recruit to recruiter and recruiter to recruit. It was healthy and everyone involved could sleep at night with a clear conscience.

I always mention these stories to my wife because while she is open and honest with clients, she wouldn’t know whether or not those other consultants live the same mantra. More than likely, they don’t. You can’t read that context based on their Instagram posts. What you see isn’t the entire picture.

So I ask her: would you lie to close a sale? Her response is naturally “no” as it should be. We aren’t those kind of people. However, you can’t compete against those types of people. You can’t measure your success against people who have a skewed method of business. Recruiting, network marketing, whatever the business might be — honesty is the best policy. Try it.


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