Virtue of Honesty


The previous blogs on our website have all been written by Dennis himself, but he’s been encouraging me and his other employees to add their own voices into the mix. So this one is by me, Lori Radosevic.

Over the last week of October, I got to thinking about the virtue of honesty in my sales toolbox. I’m not sure if there were just too many tricks and not enough treats, or if it was the political ads getting to me. Either way, I thought I’d type up some of my thoughts on the subject and share them.

I have been in sales for 25 years. I have always considered myself to be an honest salesperson. Looking back, however, I realize that may not have been the case. My sales experience started with selling Girl Scout Cookies door-to-door. I wanted so badly to be the top seller. The Cookie Queen. But was it really honest to say Girl Scout cookies were better than every other cookie? Later, when I worked for a bank, part of our sales shtick was that we had the best rates. Looking back, I can’t be sure that was strictly true. When I was selling small package transportation services, I assured people that their packages would be delivered on time. That didn’t always happen, and I would bring pizzas to clients to try to make up for poor service and lost packages. I wasn’t lying on purpose in these examples, but now I see how powerful it would have been to stick to the honest facts. Cookie making isn’t the core business of Girl Scouts, so what if I had focused on it being a good cause for donation? I’m not sure about the rates of other banks, but our service and personal account representation were our real selling points. Maybe I couldn’t guarantee your package would be delivered on time, or at all, but I would do my best to help you if something went wrong. Doesn’t that sound better?

I have been in my current sales position for 14 months. My boss Dennis built our company around the cornerstone of honesty. According to Webster, honesty is a refusal to lie, steal, or deceive in any way. This honor suggests an active regard for the standards of one’s profession.  Being honest is a character builder. It also requires patience to see the return on the investment of an honest approach. I came across several situations this week where I confronted non-truths. I fleshed things out to get to the honest realities as best I could. It was great to have avoided the pressure or awkwardness of the little white lie.

I googled “honesty in sales” when writing this blog. The tops results were “10 Most Common Lies Salespeople Tell”, “Do all salespeople need to lie?”, “Are all salespeople liars?”, “Do salespeople lie more than other professionals?”, and “Can you sell without lying?” I find it very sad that so many people think lies are necessary to sales. I love my profession and want to help change the negative perception that sales has in the marketplace. Honesty is a virtue that teaches you to respect yourself and to be genuine to others. So, try being direct and put honesty in your selling toolbox. You will see positive results, I promise!