Is lying to your customer justified in Industrial Selling? Why not? people think and reason. In the FMCG line, people do it all the time in product advertisements. So, why not in Industrial goods and Capital Equipment? Moreover, we are talking about a few white lies here and there. What is so wrong in it?
Sorry for doing it this way but lying in Industrial Selling is simply N-O-T A-C-C-E-P-T-A-B-L-E. The big deal here is that lying and sales have become so intertwined that customers simply add safety periods on to time periods being given to them. And, I talk here in case of both Internal Customers and External Customers. In a business organization, all the people to whom a person gives out information are its customers. For example, assembly gives out information to dispatch as to when an order will be ready which gives information to dispatch which gives information to Sales regarding a dispatch. Thus, dispatch is the customer of assembly and sales is the customer of dispatch, they are Internal Customers. Sales passes on the information to the External Customer. The information flow in many organizations is everything but the truth. Therefore, the salesperson's information is bound to be a distortion too. The difference is that all these negative points are filed in the customer's mind. When the next sales chance comes up, it becomes that much difficult for the salesperson to apply his organization's competitive edge as that has been worn away to some extent because of these distortions or lies along the product chain. There is one way in which this can be minimized and that is by progress posting online in the company's own servers or using cloud servers. Each and every point or station needs to have its on-line progress posting which should be accessible to the relevant departments. In any case, the sales person should not lie in such cases but tell the truth. He should not make any confirmations unless he is sure of what he is confirming.
This is the main area i.e. post sales before delivery periods that such things happen. One great thing about telling the truth is that in 90% cases, your relation with the customer will not be affected. In fact, the customer's dependability on you will go up when they realize that you can be relied upon to give an accurate picture of what is happening. The primary objective of a salesperson should be to build up relations with the customer, for it is only relationship selling that is going to mater in the coming future. If you do not know, what relationship selling is or unsure, you can take a look at what this blog has said about relationship selling in past posts. Just do not bring up that much abused word "next week" when the customer asks you when he can expect his delayed shipment. Just say " you do not know" and ask for time to give an accurate position to the much stressed customer.
Lying is mainly post-sale lying that we are talking about here. Pre-sale lying becomes redundant if you have good product knowledge. If you are not sure about something, tell the customer that you want to check it up and ask him for time. In many cases, you'll be surprised at how easily you get the time.