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  • Writer's pictureBrian Burns


Why customers and prospects lie because we let them, that's the only reason, not the only reason that they lie because they looked down on salespeople. They see us as pest, as servants, as a tool, a mechanism a to get what they want. Now, if you don't let them, they won't do it. Also, I learned this early in my career. I was assigned this large account, uh, as a presales engineer and my job was to go there every day and get people to use our product so they would buy more. So it was a hard job because, uh, there was this cultural thing, uh, it was, IBM federal systems and we were selling a piece of hardware that happened to have much software on the equipment back then was just a necessity for our software that was all customised. However, the cultural thing, there was never use any product that isn't IBM.

So you can imagine how easy this was. However, our product was probably a thousand times more productive than the IBM product. So all the engineers loved it once I showed them how to use it. Moreover, once I integrated it into their system, but there was this one guy there who was my point of contact, and he was just a jackass. I mean, he just used me and abused me, and you know, there were days where I leave, they're just screaming on the way home because I had eight hours if this guy was bugging me, talking down to me, bossing me around. Moreover, one day I was talking to my rep, and he goes, well, don't put up with it. So I was this obvious answer, like if you're a heroin addict, just stopped doing it. Uh, but this was a, it was hard.

However, I just, I just started ignoring the guy and it pissed him off at first. However, then he began to have more respect for me. Uh, he would come in while I was helping somebody else out. Hey Brian, can you come over here and do this for me? I'll be right with you. I still remember his name to this day. There's a long time ago. However, I. and since then, I always had this attitude with people once I found out that they were qualified, once I build interest, uh, I would not put up with them treating me with anything less than a peer to peer, uh, integrity and respect. Moreover, if they didn't, I'd go around them above them and find somebody else there or go to a fine another customer because we don't have time for it. Also, let's face it, we kind of know when they're lying to us if it's too good if they agree with us to quickly.

So it's the white lie. It's the, Oh, do I look fat in this dress type ally? It's like you got a right. So I don't mean that in a pejorative way, but I do expect it's in the way that we should be able to tell what is sincerely based off of actions instead of words. Uh, this is why we never want to lie to anybody as a salesperson, because once you've lied, people no longer trust you, that they, the bullshit meter starts to get very attuned. Our managers assume that we're lying about our forecast where either was sandbagging or exaggerating, and they started asking questions. They were asking questions for. Where is it? When did you last talk to them, uh, who has to approve this? Whom Have you talked to there? What did they last say? When was the last time you spoke to them?

When's the next time you're going to talk to them? Also, within five or 10 questions, they can pretty much tell where the deal is. A good manager now, many managers looks at the dashboard and assume what's in there is truthful, which is pretty damn dangerous because what's in there is exactly what they asked for, not what's real. So with customers and prospects, what we want is don't even put yourself in the situation where you're going to believe that there are lies because they're comfortable. They're very. Because they assume that we are going to we're, we're paid to put up with them. No, we earned their respect. They made ours. It's a quid pro quo through the whole process. If they start talking down to you, if they start misrepresenting themselves, they're probably not going to buy that. Probably trying to get something from you without giving you anything.

Moreover, that means they're not going to buy. Um, I use many cases like the realtor case. If somebody comes in and he or she's not telling you what his or her income is, why are he or she moving, how much is the house they live in now or earth? So everyone's going to look what to look for better homes than he or she can afford. It's just nature. If you go into a car dealership, what do you do? Do you go to the car you're going to buy? Alternatively, are you going to go to the, Oh, look at that one over there at $150,000 sports car, that's the car we all want, but we cannot afford it, or it's just not practical. So then we go to the sedan and we, we get the thing that we fit our lifestyle, fits our budget. So as salespeople, that's our job is to find out what works and not put up with them.

Misrepresenting themselves and too many reps just get bought into it because that person will talk to us and their willingness to speak to us may not be a good sign. So when they misrepresent what they say, Oh yeah, sure, no problem. We can do that. Yeah, come on in. Next week. Too many times I've seen reps just waste an enormous amounts of time talking to people that will only speak to them, meaning that they have no business reason for working with them and then all of a sudden they like getting taken out to dinner or go on a ball games having a friend, but this is not friendship. This is business, and you have to very quickly judge the integrity, the reality and the intent of the person that you're working with, and at first, that's hard to do because you're trying to build rapport.

You're trying to build the know, like and trust with them so that they will believe what you say before you start telling a bunch of things about your product and your company and the outcome that they're going to get. Until you have that established. They're going to believe you and nor should you understand them because if they're looking at three other companies that do something in the same space as you, there had been a and played you. They're trying to get to get, you know, free product, free support, free education, a bunch of quotes, bunch of discounts, and let's face it, everybody loves getting a discount. Why? Because it's just as little way of playing with the sales rep. You have to have the backbone, you have to be the leader in the sales process, and you have to understand and acknowledge when people are playing you when they're misrepresenting and you'll get a radar on this pretty quick. Hope it's been helpful.

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