How Not To Win Customers

Today I received a voicemail from a salesman who referred to email communication between us. The problem is there was no correspondence between us, email or otherwise. I’ve received emails and voicemails before from people who were simply mistaken, but this was lying. It’s happened before and it will happen again. It’s not a big deal since it didn’t cost me anything except a minute of time. But is it something he should worry about?

Lying to get a sale or get a foot in the door are both old tricks and they must have some success or they would have died out long ago. But success is limited for one major reason. Once you lie you can’t be trusted. If  a salesman lies to me about something as simple as a fictitious conversation then how do I know he won’t lie about something that actually has money tied to it.

Many years ago a salesman called the CEO of a company where I was working. The salesman found the name of a customer and called, pretending to be the customer when the receptionist answered. When the president answered the phone, the salesman said that the receptionist made a mistake. Unfortunately for the salesman, there were no other calls at the time so it was easy to see the lie and the salesman only scored an angry lecture. What the salesman didn’t realize is not only did he not get a foot in the door but he also guaranteed that he would never get a sale from our company. On top of that, because of his lie, he also guaranteed that his company would never do business with our company.

Questions to consider

  • Have you ever promised something but didn’t deliver?
  • Did you provide a quote knowing that certain aspects weren’t included and were going to be considered “extras”?
  • Did you deliver a product but not in the way that was expected?
  • Did you oversell a product and then lie about it when confronted by the customer?
  • Did you pull a “bait and switch”?
  • Did you make an honest mistake, and then cover it with a lie?

Points to consider

If you get caught telling a lie…

… you probably lost the sale.

…you probably lost the sale of anyone the person talks to.

…you will lose a lot more when it hits social media.

…your BBB ranking could take a hit.

…a review on yelp about the lie could cost you huge amounts of business.

If nothing else written above has stirred you, keep this in mind. No one has ever said “you should hire these guys because they tell the best lies”.

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