Saturday, October 13, 2012

Honesty Can Cost You a Sale

I used to love Flu season...especially a really bad one!

When I worked for a medical diagnostic company one of the diagnostic tests I sold was for the Flu. Every September the company would have a big promotion for customers on Flu test kits where they could prepurchase tests prior to the Flu season hitting and receive a substantial discount.  This promotion was also a contest for the sales reps.  The reps who sold the most Flu test kits were highlighted every week and received a nice bonus at the end of the promotion.

One of my best accounts had a new lab manager and placed a huge order.  I knew it was too large of an order based on the prior Flu season. Even though the order would've made me a "shoe-in" winner of the sales contest I talked the lab manager out of his order. I convinced him to order fewer Flu tests because he could end up having unused product left over at the end of the Flu season.  This was a counterproductive move in the world for most salespeople (and even my boss). But, the lab manager appreciated my honesty and subsequently refused to talk to any of my competitors about their products.

Customers appreciate honesty. Being honest with your customers can cost you business - but only temporarily.  Dishonesty will cost you business - permanently.

Here's to a bad (or good, depending on how you look at it) Flu season!

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