Integrity selling

Years ago in the early 90’s I was in a corporate meeting where the topic was integrity selling. Everyone instinctively knew what the word integrity meant along the word selling, but the course that day made a huge impression on me.

Basically the term means to do it right, tell the truth and don’t be phony. We have all met sales people that did not have your best interest in mind and were only focused on making a sale. Over the 26 years I have sold hotels, I would like to believe that we have been honest and straightforward with clients, buyers and our staff. I have probably told thousands of buyers that the deal they were calling about wasn’t right for them and I have told many sellers not to sell now. As a salesperson, telling a buyer not to buy and a seller not to sell seems like the speedway to failure but the opposite has proven to be true. Many of these clients and buyers have become friends of ours and in many cases, we have done a lot business together. Why? It is because they trust us to tell them the truth.

I had a call with a seller yesterday where I told him to pull his asset off the market because there just wasn’t enough interest at his price level. Common practice would say to keep it on the market and hope for the best but we have always tried to tell clients the straight truth so that we are not having to answer six months later why we were wrong. I would say over the years I have probably declined almost as much business as I have accepted because to me, making money on one deal is not as important as earning a client’s trust for the long term.

For me, integrity selling means to act in such a way so that you are not ashamed. It means to sleep well knowing that you have told the truth and done your best. In sales organizations, all the charts are about sales volume and frequency of income. The chart that is the dearest to me is where I can track on a few fingers, the people that have failed that bought a hotel from me. So for me personally, this is the most important chart I will carry with me when I retire.

So, live life with integrity in all you do because the truth is much easier to remember. KT

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