The Idea

Given the perception that a salesperson’s goal is a sale at all costs, honesty is not a quality that most people generally associate with sales. However, honesty provides an opportunity to differentiate your company from competitors.

By adopting – and practicing – honesty as a business value, you are creating goodwill. Goodwill is an established reputation of you or your company that will offer you the likelihood of more business, and will increase the value of your business if you wish to sell it in the future.

Whilst your honesty may result in a lost sale from time to time (for example, when your service can’t meet a prospect’s needs) that prospect is still likely to recommend you to family and friends, knowing that you provide honest advice. Coupled with successful sales (and references from those customers), honesty will provide the foundation for a successful, long-term business.

Many people are turning to the internet, especially social media, for reviews and recommendations. A short-sighted sale where your service does not satisfy the customer completely, can backfire quickly if that customer leaves your business a negative review.


Get straight to the point when speaking with prospects on the telephone. When cold-calling a person, small-talk is time-wasting and often comes across as insincere. Instead, consider a statement such as:

“Hello Mr/Ms Smith?” [await confirmation]. I wonder if you could help me. My name is Michelle. I am with a company called ABC Painting. (Pause) The reason I am calling is to see if you would be interested in receiving an estimate for good quality internal painting of your home?”

This provides your prospect with an opportunity to answer the question based on whether they need their house painted. Further, the prospect will appreciate how quickly the caller addressed the reason for the call.

TIP: Being honest says so much more to the prospect than the good or service you are selling. It focuses mainly on you and the type of person that you are, and by extension, speaks to the quality of the business.


  • Ease: Doable
  • Cost: Free
  • Scope: Small
  • Speed: Slow
  • Reach: Global