Some sales people really work hard to earn our hatred and loathing don’t they? In our experience, top of this list is the timeshare sales person. Have you experienced this type? I’m not talking about the pleasant, calm and informative sales person who appears genuinely interested in helping people to find their dream vacation solution. No, I’m talking about the deceitful type whose sales approach is based on trickery and lies.
We’ve all been there right? You’re on vacation and you’re offered a great deal to listen to a harmless presentation in return for a free dinner or boat trip or whatever. You decide that you have time to spare and it will help off-set the cost of the vacation so you decide to attend. You pretty much regret your decision as soon as you walk into the ‘welcome center’ and see all the other gullible people like yourself, who have been prepared to sacrifice 90 minutes of their precious vacation time to sit and be sold to!
I should explain that we had been persuaded to buy our timeshare many years ago on the recommendation of some trusted friends and it has proved great for us and the family, no regrets there. The ability to swap the timeshare always leaves something to be desired but that’s another story. I decided to treat this one as a field trip – to learn about how their sales process works. I was horrified.
In the first instance their initial approach to get us to attend was based on a false premise. They had ‘sold’ us on having a meeting on the basis that the system for swapping our existing timeshare had changed and they wanted to tell us about the new plan. That was their first deception. There was no such ‘new plan’. They simply wanted to sell us another timeshare on ‘their plan’. Don’t they realize that as soon as you start lying to the customer, you’ve lost any hope of a sale? No trust, no deal! And it didn’t stop there. They went on to explain that we could trade-in our existing timeshare and they would add the benefits of their new deal. Not true. What they were offering was a one-time ‘bonus-week’.
Their whole approach was based on bullying and lying. Their process was very well rehearsed, right down to bringing over their ‘manager’ to offer us an even better deal that we couldn’t possibly refuse! They could have saved their time and ours if they had pre-qualified us as not being people who were about to spend $40,000 on a timeshare we didn’t want just because we were going to get a free dinner!
Using deceit as a sales tool is misguided. At the very best it might work to close a deal but it will lead to lose-lose, not win-win. In fact, any sale that is based on one side losing will end-up as a lose-lose. The sales person might think they have won, and in the sort-term they might, but what they don’t realize is that every customer that was forced, coerced or deceived into a sale that they regret becomes a vocal anti-sponsor for that sales person and for the company they work for.
Integrity and trust are fundamental to effective leadership. A great leader is trusted and admired, a role
model whom others wish to follow and emulate, a person of integrity. Would you follow someone you neither trusted or respected? To trust you people need to believe that you are sincere and honest, that you have their best interests and the best interests of their company at heart. Being an excellent role model consolidates all the other aspects of leadership fortifying the process of creating vision, inspiration and momentum.
1. Your behavior, setting the example
Others form a picture of who you are by observing how you act. Your behavior tells others a story. The standard of behavior, the example you set and how you defend what you believe to be right all demonstrate your integrity. This is especially true during times of change when people will be looking to see if the leader lives up to the specific values and themes they are promoting. If you earn people’s respect and trust they will want to adopt your values, both personal and the company’s, which has a tremendous effect on the organizations culture and success.
2. Self respect
This is reflected by your appearance and actions, your punctuality.
3. Respect of others
How you treat others, with sincerity, empathy and consideration. To build credibility ensure that you are friendly and approachable. Make time for others, let the other person do a great deal of the talking, listen and be sympathetic to peoples’ opinions, ideas, concerns and worries. Make eye contact, know that little things count. Offer feedback and advice and take action to address their concerns.
4. Be honest and sincere
Honesty creates a culture of trust. Be uncompromising about the truth keep your word, be honest yet modest. Defend what is right. Show people that you only expect from them what you are prepared to do yourself. Let your team know what you think is important. If you don't tell people what your beliefs are, they'll guess and hold you accountable for what they guess. Being forthright has the additional benefit of making people feel like they understand you, and it develops trust faster than any other way.
5. Always defend what you believe is right
Make sure everyone knows what the organizations belief system is. Write it down, post it on the notice board. Ensure that all your actions demonstrate your adherence to this believe system and your values. Openly acknowledge and praise others who demonstrate this. Never be too important to apologize when things go wrong, When your strategy blows up in your face, take the responsibility.
6. Be magnanimous
Be magnanimous don’t bare grudges. Invite the opinions of others, ask them what values they think are important, what integrity means to them. Try honestly to see things from the other person's point of view Share with
them that you have accessed your own strength and weaknesses. Invite them to do the same, making yourself available to each individual to offer your help with this. Be prepared to apologize, if you are wrong admit it quickly and emphatically. Let other people feel that new ideas belong to them that their opinion matters.
Only hire integrity. ‘Walk the talk’, be firm be consistent, be honest, be respectful, be fair and kind, be the leader!
Do you agree that integrity is the cornerstone for effective leadership and that these are the traits that exemplify leadership integrity? What are your thoughts, we would love to know?