Millionaires rated integrity [being honest with all people] as
the #1 factor out of 30 that explains their economic success.
(Source: Dr. Tom Stanley, author of
“The Millionaire Next Door”)
Question for You …
If your boss asked you to sell a product you didn’t believe
in, would you do it?
Most people SAY no, but their
ACTIONS don’t agree.
Over the 29 years I've owned a
business, hundreds of sales reps have tried to sell me
everything from advertising to insurance. Regardless of whether
they were selling a $900 fax machine (which is what I paid for
our first one in 1989), or a $50,000 piece of mailing equipment,
I ask them three things:
1. If they’re 100% positive their product will do what they
say it will. Everyone has answered “YES!”
2. If their company will stand
behind it. Everyone has answered “YES!” to this as well.
3. I ask them to give me a
handwritten personal guarantee that they will pay me back out of
their pocket if their product doesn’t do what they say it
will. Almost no one says “YES” to this.
how they were “100% positive” their product would do what they
said it would do when it was MY money on the line, but not when
it was THEIR money on the line.
Of course, I don’t
expect them to pay me back personally. I’m just testing their
integrity and conviction.
This is why the greatest sales
rep I’ve ever heard of is an 11-year-old Girl Scout in South
Orange, NJ, named Charlotte McCourt.
She had a problem
with some of the cookies the Girl Scouts wanted her to sell. In
describing their Toffee-Tastic cookie, she said “I'm telling
you, it's as flavorless as dirt.”
You might think her
brutal honesty would hurt her sales, but it didn’t.
goal was to sell 300 boxes. But because of her integrity, she
sold 16,430 boxes (mostly Samoa’s and Tagalong's, and only one
box of Toffee-Tastic), becoming the greatest cookie sales rep in
Girl Scout history.
I wish I kept the business cards of
all those sales reps over the years, because they could sure
learn a lot about selling from this 11-year-old.
Perhaps even more inspiring than her integrity is her marketing
skill. She got people to buy cookies to donate to troops
overseas, writing “It helps strike a spark into the treacherous
lives of those men and women protecting our country and keeping
America safe”. I want to hire Charlotte to write ad copy for our
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