What better way to end the year than with a confession. Might be good for my soul. I was sitting around the other day and I was musing about what terrible liars some salespeople are. They are actually terrible on two counts …
- They lie about the most basic, and yet the most important, things.
- They are not even that good at lying. I can easily discern whether you are flat out lying to me or if you really not sure but, you tell me that you are anyway.
Then it occurred to me that I am also a liar but, I’m actually quite good at it. I regularly lie about two things and two things ONLY. Read on as I open up my kimono.
I’m one of those salespeople who has never had a problem telling a customer that I don’t have a solid answer to their question but, that I will find out. This merely demonstrates that I am human, honest, and that I can follow-up and follow-thru.
The real benefit is that this gives you another opportunity to get back in front of that customer so … I’ll lie by saying that I don’t know the answer for the express purpose of demonstrating that I can keep my word to get back with you and why don’t we schedule a time now for us to meet again and review that.
I’m not sure if this is simply a control issue for me or a matter of convenience but, I will regularly lie to people about my open meeting schedule. Sometimes, even if I am available, I might not want to meet at that time. Or, I’m just in a controlling mood.
Other times I will rebuff a suggested meeting time just to place myself in the dominant position. After all, who wants to buy from someone who is always available? The message is that this person has … nothing else to do. Busy people want to work with busy people, not desperate ones.
If I give you two to three options of days and times to meet, and you don’t get back with me for three or four days, whatever option you choose will have been taken. Yes, I am punishing you. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule but, they are few. I never hold these times open anyway pending your gracious acceptance.
God only help you if you are trying to sell me something, you are running late, and you don’t let me know. I’ll cancel the meeting altogether or cut it short regardless of whether or not I have another appointment scheduled. I’ve been known to do this with customers as well. If you stand me up … adios. No second chance.
I have always been a compulsive planner. I manage my calendar very carefully, will seek to group things together as a part of my time management, and I do not deal with the unexpected very well. This is one of the reasons why I like to schedule early morning appointments. They don’t force me to disrupt whatever flow I might be in.
Let’s dispel the myth
I own and operate a professional networking group that meets weekly for lunch. We do have reasonable attendance requirements. I can’t begin to tell you all of the times that I have been told by a member that they can’t attend because they must meet with a customer during our scheduled meeting time.
To this I reply … bullshit and … never bullshit a bullshitter. Now, if it is more important that you meet with this customer than come to our meeting, that’s your call and not mine. However, I will tell you that I have never had a customer balk, let alone lost a deal, because I requested a different meeting time.
If you had another important meeting with a client at that time, would you cancel that to take this other meeting? No. If you were going to be getting on a plane for your dream Caribbean vacation, would you take that meeting? Hell no! Yes, it’s priorities but most importantly, you don’t have to cancel one meeting in order to take the other.
Whether or not you attend a meeting is your choice and not one that has been forced upon you by someone else. Being late is also a choice and it sends a very clear message to the other party that you do not value their time.
I am never late and I never miss a scheduled meeting because … I value your time. I might bend the truth about two things but, getting past those, you will have my undivided attention and I’ll never make you a promise that I can’t exceed in performing.