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Honesty in Sales: Moral Maverick Approach

Honesty in Sales: Moral Maverick Approach. It’s a rather sad indictment of today’s society that promoting honesty in selling has become a maverick approach. But trust in salespeople has been seriously eroded over the past couple of decades. According to a HubSpot survey, just 3% of people find salespeople trustworthy. For those tasked with selling cars, that figure drops to just 1%, which is on a par with the number of people who feel politicians are trustworthy. Hardly a good sign.

Yet honesty in selling isn’t just morally upright, it’s also key to success. An honest approach to sales can transform careers and enhance business performance. It can even transform your personal relationships.

Let me take a step back and explain what I mean about honest selling here. Many people see the goal of sales as making somebody buy something. I disagree. I believe the goal of selling is to be helpful – and it’s this attitude that opens the door to a new, trust-based selling relationship.

Honest selling is all about discovering what people want, not trying to steer them in a certain direction so that you can hit a monthly sales target and earn your commission. It’s about finding out whether you can help – genuinely help – by providing that person with something they need.

All of this starts with developing an understanding of the individual in question. Clear, open dialogue will help to explore what they want, how they feel and how you may be able to help them. Doing so opens up a trust-based relationship that means you will be in a position to influence the individual’s buying decision with your expertise for their own benefit. Not manipulate them to make a purchase that might not be right for them.

This quest to discover what someone needs and how they feel lies at the heart of honest selling. It places you in a position where you can help, whether that help means pointing the person in the direction of your product or letting them know that it’s not right for them. This approach can be transformative for the individual salesperson and for the business. It’s not about cynical, quick wins but about building relationships that endure over the longer-term.

And this is precisely why using this honest approach can deliver benefits in your personal life as well. Learning to listen and understand, and to help others based on how they feel rather than personal gain, is a pretty strong foundation on which to build a solid, lasting relationship, whether a business relationship or a personal one.

What honest selling is not about, is forcing your products on people in order to hit targets. Instead, it’s about being a moral maverick – about having the courage to walk away from making a sale when it’s not right for the individual in question. This is ultimately what will provide you and your business with a stellar reputation for decency. It will turn your customers into advocates and your brand into something that’s synonymous with trust. And who knows, it might even restore people’s faith in salespeople in general!

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Paul Owen
Paul Owenhttps://www.truesales.co/
Paul founded The True Sales Company in London in 2011; the company rebranded from Sales Talent in 2023. In the last 12 years, Paul has helped thousands of people to improve their sales skills. A confident and engaging speaker, he has delivered sales seminars at 40+ universities, in addition to providing consultancy and training services to clients across the UK and Europe. He became an Amazon Bestseller and shortlisted for Business Book of the Year 2018 when he published his book, Secret Skill. Hidden Career: The Surprising Link between Sales Ability and your Career Success , and hosts The True Sales Podcast, available on all major platforms.

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