At What Point Does Honesty Become Insulting?

Price shopper

We’ve all known someone (sometimes ourselves) that has uttered phrases like, “To be… (instert: blunt, perfectly honest, frank, etc.)” or something like, “It doesn’t really matter to me who does (whatever situation)” and without pulling any punches, it can come off as really rude!

I’m in sales and because of that I have learned to put up with all kinds of arrogance and ego types, but there’s always those instances when people will just really rub you the wrong way. I know it can always come back that way to others from the person you stare in the mirror each morning, but I want to make it a point to anyone reading this that you really must evaluate things when their said and do your best to filter messages before they are just said matter of factly.

I had a guest in the showroom at my store recently who had known one of my coworkers for decades, but wasn’t aware he’d recently taken this job, and in front of us both, after over 30 minutes of assistance in answering questions, the guy had the audacity to tell us that he didn’t care who really sold him the car (meaning us or a different company) because he was just going to buy where he got it the cheapest.

sales stickers

Take to heart what I’m going to say now:

This person showed a total disrespect for the time and courtesy that we’d already shown him and was unapologetic for it. He was rude. He treated my coworker and I as insignificant pawns in his purchasing plans.

He may not have intentionally said these things with malice intent and because I’ve grown to realize just how many people actually have no filter for these things and I really want to try to believe the best in people, but there are many out there that would try to gain a sense of self importance by speaking down to others in this way.

best price and best qualityI was internally angered out of my mind at the audacity he had in saying these things to me, but outwardly I remained calm and bit my tongue without remark because I was careful to not let my temper get the better of me. I was coming very close to telling him that if he didn’t care about the level of personalized service that we provided that it was best to part ways then and that there would be no need to inquire further because we weren’t a good fit to work with him. It’s also been my experience that when you are dealing with someone like this that they will try to needle you long after the sale offering nothing in return but heartache and misery to add to the lack of any revenue from dealing with them.

If you are someone’s customer, this is where I caution you most because if you’re like this example, then there is something you may not have seen coming likely to happen: You may be told that your business in unwanted and unneeded and depending on what you’re shopping for, you might have just lost your chance to get the one you really wanted because it can be taken from you with just a few words.

Sales trainer Joe Verde is often quoted to say, “Sales are lost not by a few dollars, but by a few words.”

Anyone who’s ever had a career in professional sales expects to be put up against other companies offering similar products, so you don’t need to insult the person trying to help you by telling them you just want the lowest price available so that you can compare it to and cross shop other competitors. A really good sales pro expects to represent the best overall value. Value may not be quantified here as price but rather, by quality of service given in exchange for a certain monetary amount.

Trump-You're fired

In closing, be very mindful of the words you speak and to whom you speak them because you might just end up speaking yourself right out of a sale rather than into one. Just because the salesperson WANTS your business, doesn’t mean that he or she NEEDS it. If this happens, the salesperson might just FIRE YOU before you even know if they may have been the best solution to your problem.

zig ziglar

 Follow the advice of the late, great Zig Ziglar and you can prosper in both the deals you seek to close and in those where you seek to gain.