Read a good article today on the HBR blog by Clif Reichard.  Can You Sell Without Lying? He approached customer service from another angle – the beginning of the relationship with a customer – sales.  Given some of the comments, he must have hit a nerve in a touchy subject – integrity.  The great salespeople recognize that:

  • Their efforts are a solution to a customer problem,
  • Real value must be created from the transaction,
  • A single sale of questionable integrity may preclude much more lucrative opportunities later,
  • Matching customer needs with product/service capabilities is their primary function, and
  • Sometimes, walking away from a bad deal is a good thing.

The pivot point is that each part of an organization “owns” honesty. If a link in the integrity chain is broken, we all lose.  Customers lose because their needs aren’t met.  Sales loses because their reputation as a business function is tarnished.  The whole organization loses because they spend valuable time trying to recover from an avoidable situation.

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  • Thomas Huynh

    Here’s a business secret for you all: Always look out for the customer’s best interests and despise (sic) short-term profit!

  • andy_mcf

    A good article courtesy of HBR… When Your Start-Up Should Walk:

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