My friend Larry is a firefighter. When he came in and the city placed him in a company, no one spoke to him, even though he spent hours and hours together. They did not invite him into their group, refusing him to become a member. Even though the company hired him and paid him, he was not part of the team. Because of the nature of their work, firefighters were slow to trust him, not knowing how he would behave in a situation where lives could be at stake. They did not know whether they could trust him or not, because it had not been tested yet.
After a few months, Larry found himself in a serious house fire. The flames came back on him and the two firemen. He had to interpose between the fire and his two teammates, using the hose to protect his colleagues. He protected the two firefighters with water, but he was burned during the process, mainly to the neck and ears. After this event, he was a firefighter and a member of the team.
If you work in sales, your business is going to have service issues. Service outages will cause problems for your customers, which in turn will become your problems. Salespeople find themselves in a delicate situation when they avoid dealing with service failures, choosing instead to blame their operations team or external factor in the hope of breaking free from their responsibilities or to assume their responsibilities.
My friend, Charlie Green, will tell you that trust is about reliability, credibility and intimacy, divided by your personal orientation. When you demonstrate unreliability, you decrease the trust of your client. When you suggest that your business is unreliable, that you are not responsible, you really prove that you are not reliable, that you are not responsible. Your business will eventually be made to fail, but your reluctance to take on this failure and do everything in your power to make things better may not restore your lost reliability or even your lost credibility.
There are far too many writings on negative sales behaviors, most of which are not as prevalent as some people claim. The lack of responsibility, however, is too common and too often left unanswered. If you want to trust, you must be ready to be responsible for what you sell. People trust you.
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