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Posted December 23, 2009
Under the guise of honesty this book fosters the thinking responsible for everything that is wrong with sales.
Quote: "Only 10 percent of salespeople in any organization are top performers, defined as those who regularly close at least half of their qualified prospects."
There I sat. A freshly printed book advocating honesty when selling in my hands. The hope of having found advocates for honesty in sales fueling my heartbeat. The dream that I might have a tiny bit of help with my lifetime mission of eliminating the self-centered thinking that creates dishonesty in the profession I love so much.
And in the third paragraph of the introduction chapter I learn that the authors measure success in the most self-centered way possible.
Honest Selling has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with closing percentages. In fact, by using closing percentages as your measure of whether someone is successful, you create the very situation that produces manipulation and dishonesty.
For a salesperson to practice true Honest Selling, his or her agenda must align with the prospect's agenda. They must share the same goal. They must be working toward the same conclusion. Otherwise, conflicts of agenda arise -- like objections that must be overcome -- and the temptation for dishonesty rages.
That's a massive STRIKE ONE for this book. After all, everything that follows is written to help you increase your closing rates -- not to help you learn how to sell honestly.
STRIKE TWO came on the first page of chapter three, where the authors chose to redefine honest communication to fit their own agenda. After quoting Webster's definition of honesty, the authors chose to change it as follows: "We define honest communication as saying what needs to be said--including all pertinent facts."
If you're going to sell honestly, YOU DON'T GET TO DEFINE what honesty is.
STRIKE THREE occurs later in the same chapter as the authors discuss "Why Salespeople Lie to Clients."
Quote: "As you read this book, you may think of a situation in which you were honest and you lost the business or didn't get the sale. Unfortunately, when things like that happen, we tend to get spooked. Instead, remember that nothing works 100 percent of the time."
Salespeople don't lie because honesty fails. They lie because they are trying to close a sale and they sense that close slipping away.
Measure your success by whether you helped the prospect make the best choice for himself or herself and you WILL have a 100 percent success rate.
Finally, the most disheartening statement I read in the book. It comes at the end of page 147 and, sadly, is repeated for effect on page 149.
Quote: "Your job is to help your prospect discover that engaging with you is the right decision."
Honest Selling IS NOT about helping your prospect to decide to purchase what you're selling. Honest Selling is about helping your prospect find the best thing to purchase based on his or her own needs, wants and goals.
This book does not foster honesty in sales. It perpetuates the myth that sales is about closing. It perpetuates the false assumption that prospects are liars. It perpetuates the misguided belief that prospects are too stupid to figure out what is best for them without being guided by you -- the salesperson. It perpetuates the self-centered thinking that a salesperson's job is to guide prospects to buying what he or she sells. It perpetuates manipulative.
If you believe in Honest Selling then do not waste your time with "Honesty Sells."
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Posted October 31, 2010
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Posted June 2, 2009
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