I have no doubt that many of you were glued to the TV watching the championship games to see who would make it to the Superbowl in a couple of weeks (Patriots vs. Seahawks in case you missed it). While the Seahawks incredible comeback is its own story, I want to focus on the Patriots.
On the surface, the Patriots dominated the Colts 45-7 and earned Tom Brady another trip to the Superbowl. However, what happened after the game were accusations that the Patriots were cheating – specifically for deflating footballs during their championship game. As of writing this, the investigation is fresh and will probably take a while to fully examine. That point though is that this isn’t the first time that the Patriots have been accused of cheating. Back in 2007 they were fined $250,000 after a NFL investigation found them illegally videotaping their opponents.
This leaves the Patriots in a very interesting position, regardless of whether the allegations are true. I know many people who instantly scoff at any mention of the Patriots because of all the constant cheating allegations that have followed them. While they’re undeniably one of the top football teams, their credibility is always up for debate. The question I ask you is this: has anyone on your sales team made it so that your company’s credibility is lost? Worst yet, have they ever blatantly lied just to make a sale?
Whether it’s stretching the truth or promising things that simply aren’t possible, there will be a time when your client finds out the truth and then your trust is broken. Having integrity when selling is something that you would think would be common sense, however I thought it would be important to discuss why being dishonest during your sales process is simply a terrible idea:
Distrust Leaves A Lingering Taste – The biggest problem with the Patriots’ latest scandal is the fact that people are generally saying “again?” Obviously this is not the kind of reputation that any team or company would want when nasty things are being said about them. This doesn’t always have to be about blatant “cheating” as well. Terrible customer service or anything that makes anyone’s experience with your company unpleasant will unfortunately linger a lot longer than a good memory.
Hard To Earn Back Trust – As mentioned above, it is going to take a long time for the Patriots to lose their reputation as cheaters, and for fans to just see them as champion-level team instead of anything else. Earning trust is already a difficult task, but earning back someone’s trust after you’ve wronged them is an entirely different beast. It’s simply much better to not get into that situation in the first place.
Ensuring that integrity is something that is constantly talked about to your sales team will ensure that your company’s reputation stays intact.