Why you should avoid commercial flattery

In tough times, salespeople are more likely to demonstrate deceptive behaviour.

Akin to a short-term case of amnesia, the salesperson’s values can be temporarily misplaced for whatever they need to say to make a sale and get paid. Even if that means contorting the truth and leading customers into a false sense of position in order to facilitate a transaction.

Think of a plastic surgeon that encourages a patient to overindulge in a cosmetic procedure. Consider a real estate agent giving a client a false sense of security when it comes to taking on an investment risk. Or an eBook publisher offering glowing feedback to an aspiring writer who would be better served investing in a writing course instead of publishing a book.

Commercial flattery is hazardous. Of course, it makes the customer feel important, but this is only until their reality catches up with your deception.

“All war is deception”, goes the timeless quote from Sun Tzu’s, The Art of War.

Ask yourself are you really at war with your customers, or at war with yourself?

When you start to question your intrinsic values and better judgement, you are by default surrendering to your fear. All great leaders learn how to harness fear, and when asked to face fear ? they fight it! This is the mark of a bold courageous leader.

More savvy customers will always see through slick sales tactics. However, less perceptive and more hopeful customers will at times ask to be misled. This is where your true character as a salesperson is tested and ultimately measured.

As a sales professional, your aim is to lead your customers and provide them with valuable information to help them make the best decision. Sometimes the best decision is not to buy from you at all, rather it’s to trust you and be led to a better alternative. This is what I commonly refer to as the power of saying no, and this is this mark of a trusted advisor.

We all know flattery is the cheapest form of compliment. When you come up against overwhelming challenges you may feel compelled to twist the truth, just remember, when you surrender ? you’re not only deceiving your customers but yourself.

Trent Leyshan is the founder of BOOM!, Australia’s leading sales training and development specialist. He is the co-founder of Expand People and author of The Naked Salesman.

 

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