Lying in Sales: 9 Reasons Why It’s Not Worth Lying to Sell More


As a salesperson, your success is largely based on achieving quotas. Consistently set a quota and you are a superhero. You miss the quota for several months in a row and you get closer to the performance plan every day.

Desperate times are often required for representatives or managers in the latter segment desperate measures. First, perhaps achieving a number is a matter of concluding a few more deals. Then you suddenly stretch the truth to the characteristics and say, “Sure, we can do it!” when you’re not sure you really can do it – or worse, you’re sure you absolutely can’t do it.

Selling is notorious stressful work and the pressure to get closer to potential customers can get big when your goal is far away. But the unpleasant consequences are not worth it. But before we delve into why lying doesn’t pay off, let’s look at why salespeople lie.

Why do sellers lie?

The “honest salesman” is for many a myth and a perfect example of an oxymoron. But why do sellers lie?

We give three reasons why they do this. You may be more sympathetic to them after reading this section.

1. They don’t know the product

This is one big reason why the average salesperson distorts the truth. They just don’t know what a product can or can’t do, so they stretch the truth about its capabilities.

As salespeople, they are expected to know everything about what they are selling, so it will be quite embarrassing to admit, “Oh, I don’t know if he can do that.”

2. They want to build a relationship with the client

Most people have an innate desire to be liked and salespeople are no exception. So they tickle the buyer’s ears because they want them to like them enough to buy.

3. To make more money

No, we will not skip the main reason why people lie: to make money. Many sellers lie about products and services in order to sell quickly and move on to the next potential buyer.

Why sellers should not lie during the sales process

Now let’s look at nine reasons why lying during the sales process is definitely not worth it.

Your new customer will not be satisfied for long.

If you were to promise something for sale that your business can’t deliver, your new customer would soon find out the truth, and the warm, soft feelings will turn into customer remorse. If you’re not 100% honest, you may have sold them a faulty product or service for their needs.

Maybe they listen to you or someone else in your company a little and let you do it. Or they can take to social media to post their grievances – something you never want to happen.

You will cause damage to yourself and the reputation of your company.

An angry phone call is bad, but an angry tweet or post on Facebook is much worse. Your business has just been shortlisted – not good for your organization’s brand or personal reputation. Achieving the status of a trusted advisor is the goal of many sellers today, and this is much harder to do with this type of luggage.

You will kiss goodbye sales opportunities.

One of the benefits of becoming a trusted advisor in the eyes of your clients is that they are more receptive to sales proposals.

But if you’ve already proven yourself stupid, why would customers take your word for it about additional elements? You may have won money quickly initially, but it could cost you extra income in the long run.

You may also lose referrals.

Referrals are the best. You can skip much of the search and initial levels of interest and immerse yourself in the essence of your sales process with a higher level of performance. In fact, according to NoMoreColdCalling.comthe closure rate for posted clients is around 50%.

But what if your new client caught you lying? I doubt they will direct your business to many things except maybe the door.

You run the risk of creating internal enemies.

Let’s say you sold a product based on a promise of a special type of support that you know your company wouldn’t normally provide. The customer signs the contract and you transfer the money to the implementation team.

Next month? Well, not clean. What happens when a customer starts asking about the support you promised? You’ve committed another department to something they may not be able to give, and understandably it will be upsetting. Once your co-workers find out who is to blame for their misery, you will gain a negative reputation internally.

You will contribute to sales stereotypes.

As part of his research for the book Selling is human, Daniel Pink and Qualtrics conducted a survey entitled “What do you do at work?” The question “When you think of ‘selling’ or ‘selling’, what is the first word that comes to mind?” aimed at assessing the perception of the sales profession.

If you’re sensitive, you might want to stop here. Among the most common words were “saturated”, “weak”, “uf”, “yuck”, “dishonest” and “manipulative”.

If you are a salesperson who is proud of their work, this is worth considering. Whenever you bend the truth to sell, you feed into the negative perception of the general psyche. Don’t be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your commitment to honesty can only change some deep-rooted opinions about your industry.

Your customers will be aware.

Your customers are probably more intelligent than you attribute to them. Many may find out when you are lying to them, skipping important information, or telling them what you think they want to hear.

This makes you much less likely to sell. So while you may occasionally meet someone who swallows your lies, you will lose more sales in the long run when they accuse you of their lies.

Lying is counterproductive to your goals.

The fake seller may have contacted your current customer, so they did not make the purchase. However, once you bring honesty to the table, you will increase your chances of signing up or selling them.

Your self-esteem could suffer.

Having a reputation as an honest salesperson will boost your self-confidence. You’ll be happy to know you didn’t cheat or lie on the way to the sale.

A reputation for honesty improves professional and personal relationships. In addition, customers who trust your products stay loyal to your company even in difficult times.

Can selling and lying be excluded?

Although the prospects are cautious from the start due to past experience with fake salespeople, you can honestly lay the groundwork for a lucrative relationship.

So, never lie to your customers. You may find it difficult to be honest with customers, but they will appreciate your honesty, and you will be proof that selling and lying can be ruled out.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2014 and has been updated for completeness.

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