What does integrity really mean?
Definitions are nice, but when it comes to words like “integrity”, “motivation”, “inspiration” and other feel-good concepts that belong on a poster, I’d like to suggest a new kind of definition.
The best way to understand a lofty concept or idea isn’t in the dictionary. The best way to understand integrity is through action.
- Integrity is about doing the right thing, even when nobody’s looking
- High-integrity individuals make it ok for the customer to say “no”.
- You can’t win ’em all. Sometimes the sale doesn’t go through, it’s a fact of life. Yet, disappointment over the facts is a hobby for small minds, and does not reflect high integrity.
If your product or service isn’t right for a customer, a high integrity salesperson will know it, accept it, and move on.
Top salespeople don’t just give up. No one celebrates “no”.
Strategic leaders work hard to make a solution right for the customer, but you can’t win ’em all.
High integrity sales people also do not “throw grenades” into their own company when deals don’t take shape. (Do you know anyone like this? I’m talking about the person who blames others for a result, instead of owning an outcome).
High integrity individuals own the bad outcomes. High integrity individuals realize that the only way something can get fixed is when you take responsibility – not give it away.
The customer is always the customer
For me, I do not believe the customer is always right. I believe the customer is always the customer.
The customer is the lifeblood of the business, but the business cannot be sacrificed to meet the customers’ needs. That sacrifice is called “selling at any cost”, and it has more to do with desperation than integrity.
Being able to push back from the table and understand that a deal is not right for a customer is a mark of true integrity.
It’s a powerful position in a negotiation, when you want to win but you don’t have to.
The high integrity sales person thinks and behaves in a way that serves the customer – helping them to find products and solutions that truly fit.
How do you know when you are operating with integrity? Where have you seen integrity, in action – and what was the result?