Today, I am disappointed. Sad, really.My phone rang. I answered. It was someone who works for me. She said, “ is on the line. She insists she has an appointment with you at 2:30 PM.” I live on my calendar. How could I have been so careless? I open my calendar app, Tempo, on the iPhone. I don’t have an appointment. I asked, “What is this person’s name and what company are they with?”The answer is with .I don’t know . I do recognize the name of the organization. But only because they’ve continued to call me to try to sell their service. It’s something to do with federal contracts.In an attempt to speak with me, this salesperson lied. I am certain that had I taken her call, she would have told me that there was some misunderstanding, that she didn’t say that she had an appointment, that she was only trying to schedule an appointment.There’s a reason so few salespeople use lame, old, worthless tactics like these: Relationships are built on trust, and attempting to begin a relationship with a lie is its undoing.It doesn’t matter how bad you need business. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is to get someone on the phone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little white lie. There isn’t any excuse for using any strategy for selling that is built on a lie. This is true even if from time to time this dreadful strategy works.If you are going to be a professional salesperson, the rule is this: The truth at any price, even the price of your deal. If you are going to be someone worth doing business with, then be that person.What disappoints me most is not that a salesperson would attempt to open an opportunity by lying about an appointment. What disappoints me most is that somewhere there is a sales organization and a sales manager that is teaching, training, and coaching this behavior. I wonder how they will feel when the salespeople they train end up being the salespeople that call on their elderly parents and grandparents. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
It isn’t always easy to lead. Leaders are called to do the tough job of making decisions.Leaders are required to make tough decisions. Most of the time you won’t have all of the information you need, and the information you do have won’t be perfect. You will be required to use your best judgment. Right or wrong, you will have to make the call.Leaders are required to make unpopular decisions. You will have to make decisions that other people oppose and with which they disagree. But your role as leader requires you to decide what is right, including the decisions where you can’t get a consensus agreement.Leaders decide on their own. You will take counsel from the people you trust, the people closest to the problem, and outside sources. Then you will make the decision because that is a leader’s charge.Leaders make mistakes. You live in a culture that loves to bring leaders down. Your mistakes will be broadcast louder and longer than your successes. You will be reminded that you are human and fallible. That will make you not unlike every other leader in history, not less than any other leader.Leaders make decisions based on values. There are some decisions that you will make that will be based on your values. When money is on the line, many people will expect you to decide to forego your values in the name of profit. They will question your judgment and your loyalty when you choose values over money. Your values will give strength against their criticism.Leaders are required to care for their people. You will make decisions to take care of your people. You will make decisions to help them when they need help, to give them time when they need more time, and to treat them as ends instead of means. You will be measured by how you treat the people you leave and how you have helped them improve.