sales swear jar

Have you or has anyone on your sales team ever said… “Let me be honest with you…” or “Can I shoot you straight?” or “Truthfully…” or “This is the truth…” etc. to a Prospect?

Have you said these things to an employee?

I know I have.

You know what this implies – it implies that perhaps other things we said were not the truth. You know that with certain salespeople you probably assume that everything comes after is bullcrap too.

I have been reading the Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday recently as part of my morning meditation. Stoicism…never thought I could love it – but I do! It is not what I thought it was. I think Ryan’s other book “EGO IS THE ENEMY” may have saved this coaching/consulting/training business that was intended to SERVE business owners building Sales Teams and Sales processes.

Today’s meditation was based on a translation from Marcus Aurelius the Roman…

“How rotten and fraudulent when people say they intend to ‘give it to you straight.’ What are you up to dear friend? It shouldn’t need your announcement… the straight-forward and good person should be like a smelly goat – you know when they are in the room with you.”

This selection for the day made me think of the times I have said “honestly” or “let me be straight with you”… I definitely say these things. Why? Do I think it will help? Have I really been less than truthful prior to this? Do I feel like I am untrustworthy and need to demarcate times when I am honest? – I hope and pray that this is not the case.

So what to do… The first step is Awareness. If you say this to prospects or employees you should notice it and feel like a Non Smelly Goat. 🙂

If you hear your people saying this… Nurture Nurture Gentle Gentle… but you need to make them aware of it. I do not think “Let me be honest with you” is a tested phrase that sells…

Ask your people to Stop YOU when you say something like this. Be vulnerable first. Set the example. Then, you could:

1.) Put a Post it up on your computer within view that says “I AM honest… ALL the time.”

2.) Have a “Sales Swear Jar” on your desk and voluntarily on the desks of sales team members and donate the proceeds to a charity of your choice…. OR to a charity you don’t believe in.. (more powerful perhaps)

3.) Part of your weekly sales meeting should include time to work through things like this…talk about Why everyone says this and write a list of powerful phrases that would accomplish the purpose you actually intended.

I hope that helps. Have an awesome day!