Why Customers “Lie”

Customers-LieHave you ever lied to a salesperson? I can assure you I have not! I’ve told a salesperson I wasn’t interested at the moment but that I might be later on, even when I knew there was no chance I was ever going to buy something from them. But I wouldn’t consider that a lie. I’ve told salespeople on the phone that I just had new windows and doors installed last month even as my old door was sticking when I tried to open it. But it wasn’t a lie; I was just trying to get the guy off the phone.

Even if that seems like a lie it really wasn’t because I was telling it to a salesperson.

I can however, truly assure you I would never lie to a salesperson that I believed had my best intentions in mind. I wouldn’t lie to someone who wanted to earn money from me instead of make money off me. I would never lie to a salesperson who I believed was acting as a resource for me; in short I would never lie to a salesperson who had earned my trust.

Have you ever been lied to by a customer? I have and I hate it when they do that because I do have their best interests in mind and I do try to be a resource.

So why do they lie?

Because having their interest in mind and wanting to be a resource are not enough. You must prove to the customers that those things are true. When you do that you will have earned their trust and their reasons for lying dissipate quickly.

I’ve said in virtually every sales training session I’ve ever taught that trust is built from credibility. It is important to realize that for many customers your credibility is called into question automatically, simply because you are salesperson.

I know that’s not “fair” because you may have never lied to a customer, but somewhere along the line, another salesperson likely did and now you’re lumped in with them. You must overcome this lack of credibility as quickly as possible to earn the trust of the customer, it is only then, you can successfully complete the sales process.

Let’s imagine we all have a credibility “bank.” When we follow through on our commitments our credibility balance goes up; when we fail to follow through our credibility balance goes down. Here is a sad fact, our “deposits” are much smaller for following through than our “withdrawals” are for dropping the ball. That is why building credibility with a customer is such a challenge.

It all comes down to this: doing what you say you will, when you say you will do it. You must do that over and over again. Honoring your commitments as a professional salesperson is the foundation for any success you may have.

Don’t earn that lie from your customer, make “deposits” in your credibility bank everyday!


5 thoughts on “Why Customers “Lie”

  1. Steve your posts are great. This is a really honest assesment of where the world is today. It gets harder by the minute to gain trust in business as well as in daily relationships. It is all about actions. Words are powerful yet at the same time easy. Actions are what make a lasting impression on a person. Actions create the picture worth a thousand words. Thanks again for your great posts.

    1. Thanks Tom! You’re absolutely right, trust is more than a word. It’s really an activity. It’s easy to understand how people could doubt what we say, it’s nearly impossible for them to dismiss what they see. Our actions truly “say” it all.

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