Recently, I ran across a blog post that made me think. It was a man who openly admitted to double booking an appointment with a client and chose to be honest. You can read my former post by clicking here. This fascinated me. For years I have been saying that it is not only possible - but essential for a salesperson to have integrity to be successful. So I decided to ask Fred what his thoughts were on the subject...
In a Gallup Poll released in December 2006, the sales and marketing industries represented 3 out of the 4 least trusted professionals. Why do you think sales people are perceived as untrustworthy and how can we change that perception?
Sales people at times get so caught up with the end in mind that they start making promises just in order to reach their goals. So, unfortunately we are least trusted with some level of validity.
The only way we can change that perception is to start putting our energies into the success of our clients. Our 'end in mind' should not be what will we receive, it should be how can I help my client succeed. Help enough people get what they need and you will receive more then you ever dreamed possible.
In your program descriptions, you mention, "gone are the days of sales people using closing lines." Why do you think so many companies train their sales staff to sell in this style? What can salespeople do as an alternative to using traditional tactics?
Yes, closing lines are not only ineffective to our clients; they are out right frustrating and disrespectful to them. At the same time these questions are necessary in the questioning process. What makes them ineffective is not the questions alone but how and when they are used.
It is like building a house, for a house, the foundation is needed along with a roof and doors for the completion. To try and frame and roof a house without pouring the foundation is as ineffective as using questioning in the wrong process.
Maybe if enough people request, I will put together an article on effective questioning.
Some people feel that "integrity selling" is somewhat of an oxymoron. What are your thoughts? Do you feel it is possible to sell in an honest, ethical and integrity-based manner?
It is the only way, as long as you are in this game for the long term.
First we need to define what integrity really means. Integrity is being true to your values no matter what circumstances you face. "People with integrity expect to be believed and when they are not, they let time prove them right."
In essence, if sales people were to take the time to become aware of their values, be true to themselves and their values this game of 'buying and selling' would be a lot more enjoyable for all involved.
How can business owners help their salespeople sell with integrity? Is it more about hiring the right people or creating the right culture?
You can lead a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink. One of the major errors business owners make is chasing people with the right skill set causing more of a frustration to them in the long term. It is crucial that the people we hire want to be there and more importantly share your values and vision.
There are 3 things business owners have to keep in mind when hiring people for any position.
1. Hire the right person for the job. The right person is the one that shares your values and vision.
2. Then put them in the right position. The right position is the position that will bring out their greatness, this does not necessarily has to be their expertise. Connect with your employees in order to truly understand where their heart lies.
3. Give them the tools and resources they require.
Remember, the right people will never complain about the lack of resources. The right people will make it work with what they have.
Your question about the culture. As the business owner, you are the culture. Your culture needs to be defined first. Then you hire people that believe in your culture in order to sustain your culture.
Your foundation, Dare2Drm, is focused on instilling desire, direction, passion and purpose in our youth. How can we help a child in our lives achieve their highest potential and act with integrity?
Very simple, stop telling our children they cannot do something. Even when we know there is a good chance they will fail.
Parents think they are protecting their children by making sure they do not fail. We do nothing but set them up for their greatest failures in the future without the experience of how to overcome and move on.
Always let them be young enough to know nothing is impossible.
Let them fail, let them fall, let them hurt and in turn teach them it is okay to do so as long as they never stay down.
Your organization works with companies across the globe - do you feel that the values of honesty, integrity and ethics are universal or do they change from culture to culture?
From what I have seen they are absolutely universal. A culture in a company is nothing more then an accumulation of values within the people in that company.
Values are linked to principles, and principles are principles because they are universal and prove the test of time.
You also provide one-on-one coaching - is there one person that you would like to work with? Why?
Someone just asked me if I have a mentor. Yes, I do but I have many. I have ones that I like to learn from depending on what part of my life I am looking to grow in.
For a little over a year I have been learning from, or I should say trying to suck every ounce of experience from Callum Desouza's mind as I can.
Why you ask? I find it very intriguing how he can run a multi million dollar business with such calmness and balance in his life. His employees would do anything for him without question as they have the utmost trust and respect for him.
You've recently written a book, "How the Top 5% Think." Who or what inspired you to choose this topic?
That is a tough question for me to answer. Not because I am unsure of the answer but because the book has a background journey that goes back approximately 15 years. It is a journey where I finally embraced and in turn it made me who I am today.
We all have our own stories and in turn our journey. Some choose to fall a victim of them and others choose to embrace them. I fell victim of my medical journey for close to a decade until I embraced it with the realization of it being a gift. Your purpose will reveal itself when you embrace your journey.
This was my way of reaching out to a larger population. Help others embrace their journey and in turn pursue that life of 'happiness' that we so long for.
What is your secret to success?
Wow! Where do you start with that question? I really cannot say there is one thing. Part of success to me is always staying true to your core values while fulfilling your purpose.
Most have a hard time with that, as most have not gone through the process of true awareness; a process where they have clarity to their values. If you do not know what you value then how can you live your values?
One of the main reasons would be not only understanding the process required but more so to implement the process in order to achieve your desired success. A clarity in awareness is the foundation to any success in your life.
For more information about Fred, please visit his website at www.fredsarkari.com