The Unexpected Advantage of Telling Customers the Truth

How to establish sales integrity quickly.

Tom Richard on Sales Integrity

Tom Richard shares his thinking on sales integrity in this guest article:

At the ripe young age of seven, I discovered there was no such thing as the Easter Bunny. Even though it seems silly, I remember how let down I felt when I saw my Easter basket in the trunk of my father's car. I didn't say anything at the time, but the gig was up; there was no bunny, Santa Claus, or Tooth Fairy.

As truth flooded my seven-year-old mind, scepticism was born. Our customers have every reason to have this same scepticism as they evaluate our fancy guarantees, promises, and unbelievable offers. By definition, an unbelievable offer is, well, unbelievable. Unbelievable offers do not attract more customers because they lack an essential ingredient - believability.

Just this week, retail sales numbers came out and showed a drop instead of the expected gain. The same is true for other business sectors across the world. As these businesses sit down at their conference tables and brainstorm new ideas to increase sales, many of them will agree that they need to increase the offers that they are advertising or presenting to customers. But these offers will fail if they do not incorporate truth-telling.

Why does a business increase their offers, trump up their guarantees, or make aggressive promises?

Simple: they are trying to break through the clutter in an aggressive marketplace. But truth-telling, transparency, and thoroughness are the fastest ways to grab a bigger piece of the pie and cut through the clutter like a hot knife through butter.

If you understand that unbelievable offers are born out of the need to grab attention, then you can logically agree that the real way to grab attention is to do what others are not doing: telling the truth. Re-frame your sales and marketing conversations in a way that spills your guts; let your thoughts be as transparent as a clear pane of glass, and you'll find your sales grow with shocking speed.

People spend money with your business when they believe in you, your product, and your company. Belief is created with proof - strong, unquestionable, utterly believable proof.

Most businesses try to lure customers in with unbelievable offers and only add proof as a subordinate element while trying to close the deal. If you're looking for a way to give your business or career a real shot in the arm, start the process with the proof.

Prove what you are saying by being completely transparent; prove your an expert by demonstrating your thorough approach to solving the person's problem with your product or service.

Proof is established when an individual absolutely understands what you are saying to them, and understanding is created when you paint a vivid picture of what success looks like for your customer. You can create an honest picture of success by being radically honest as you describe your approach.

Go through each step, admit your faults, and explain the process will be using if you win the person's business. If you are selling machines, explain to them exactly why you are recommending a specific model. Imagine that you are literally allowing them to see your entire thought process.

If your intentions are pure, if your passion is real, and if your stewardship is strong, your customers will open up, allowing you to have an honest discussion - a discussion that talks about the real issues, the real problems, and the real solutions.

Discovering the truth about the Easter Bunny made Santa Claus guilty by mere association. Truth is contagious as well. As you embrace truth-telling, its purity permeates everything you say.

Embrace truth and you'll find that your words begin to have the Midas touch; you'll not only make a ton of sales - you'll make a ton of friends.

Sales integrity article by Tom Richard, Creative Director / Copy Chief at Bolt From The Blue.

If you need to ways to improve sales communication skills or build sales integrity early in the sales process, we can help. Telephone +44 (0)1392 851500. We will be pleased to discuss your needs or talk through some options. Alternatively Send email to for a prompt reply or use the contact form here.