When You Should Be Ashamed to Sell

When You Should Be Ashamed to Sell

If you know that what you are selling isn’t right for the person buying it, you should be ashamed to sell it to them. This isn’t something professional salespeople do.

If what you are selling doesn’t create the value that you have led the buyer to believe it will create, you should feel ashamed about selling it. If you have allowed the buyer to build up what you are selling too much in their own mind, you should be ashamed to sell it to them. Professional salespeople aren’t afraid to discuss the limits of what they sell.

If you have to be manipulative to get a buyer to buy what it is you sell, then you should be more than ashamed to sell it to them; you should be horrified. If you can manipulate buyers and not feel shame, then you have a rather serious medical condition.

If you have to take advantage of someone by relying on some imbalance between you and your buyer, then you should feel shame for making the sale. This too probably indicates a serious medical problem. You should feel a sense of shame if you wouldn’t want someone to sell to your Grandmother the way that you sell.

If you aren’t willing to stand behind what you sell, then you shouldn’t feel good about selling it.

You should never be ashamed to sell. If you feel any sense of shame or guilt about what you’re selling, you shouldn’t sell it. If you aren’t proud of the way that you sell, then you should stop selling that way. Live by the code.


How do you feel about what you sell?

How do you feel about the way that you sell?

Do you know anyone that still sells using any techniques that they should be ashamed to use?

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  • http://www.5toolgroup.com/ Jay Oza

    Sales is often viewed as a game and one has to win. You are either a winner or a loser. I have seen this in several large companies to think this is an aberration.

    It is all about making the Presidents Club and no one asks how you got there.

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      My experience with the people that make President’s club is very different. In my experience, they’ll never do anything to destroy future sales . . . even if it means walking away.

  • http://twitter.com/davecj86 David Jenkins

    Great article. It is always best to be honest, and be prepared to say “no, this will not work for you”.

    I learned a life lesson when watching “Miracle of 34th Street” as a kid. Kringle (Santa) tells shoppers where to go when they cannot find what they want at Macy’s (where he is working).

    Working in the online advertising space, I represent a company that specialises in one specific field, and dabbles in many others. For this reason we have many “indirect” competitors, who specialise in these others fields, and I do not mind pointing my clients/prospective clients in their direction.

    Our solution works better for larger organisations than smaller (due to data reasons) so a concrete example of this was a few months ago when a client recommended someone else to approach me, which he did – but I turned down the business due to the company’s size. Our solutions was very unlikely to work effectively, and I made this very clear, even though there was money on the plate. To the fellow’s credit, he kept pushing me, just wanting to test it out – and I relented, satisfied that I had been completely open and honest about the potential results.

    Two months later, after having implemented our solution, we are getting great results and are contributing to this particular client’s growth significantly. There have been a few ups and downs, but the honesty deposit from the get-go has afforded me much time, leeway and understanding to make things work!

    • http://www.thesalesblog.com S. Anthony Iannarino

      Great story, David! Great outcome, too.