You know what I’ve NEVER heard?
Someone telling me a story that starts with this:
“I led the conversation by letting the prospect know where we might not be a good fit - and where our solution doesn’t quite meet their requirements.”
And ends with:
“This really frustrated the prospect. They would have preferred we just tell them all the things we’re awesome at.”
“The prospect said, “Ugh. Listen. I have to issue an RFP, but you already gave me the answers I need to make a decision. What a waste. I really wanted to leaf through the responses and utilize my skill of unspinning the stale, BS answers.””
“The prospect was taken aback, exclaiming, “You’re not very good at this sales job, are you? We prefer salespeople that only tell us what we want to hear. You don't even know how to lie, do you?"”
“The prospect told us we lost because we didn’t lead with our mission statement, or a map of our locations, or even a NASCAR logo slide!”
You know what I DO hear all the time?
That story ending with:
“We won - and considerably faster - as we did the homework for the client, whereas the competitor just bashed us.”
"By addressing the 'elephant in the room' up-front, it established a relationship with the client founded on trust, and we won even though our competitor is bigger and has a broader solution."
“The client appreciated it very much, and because what I shared was important, we parted ways right away, allowing me to go work on opportunities where we are a great fit. Oh, and by the way, three months later that client came back to us.”
From a behavioral science perspective, transparency sells better than perfection. It speeds cycles, increases win rates, qualifies deals in or out quickly, and makes it really hard on your competitors.
It builds a foundation on trust.
And due to the proliferation of reviews and feedback, we’ve now have to do it anyway.