It’s no secret that the sales training industry is a billion dollar business and many of us are its beneficiaries. The question is, who’s preparing and protecting the businesses and consumers who are doing the buying? I LOVE the sales profession and enjoy working with PROFESSIONALS – people committed to a standard of excellence and ethics in the profession who will walk away from a deal when it’s not a fit. But my peers and I become infuriated when we think about the “peddlers” – the imitators and amateurs that have given our profession a bad reputation and disrupted business across the globe. Countless businesses and consumers have been harmed by the manipulative tactics of poorly trained, unethical, non-professional peddlers posing as sales professionals and the chasm of distrust that exists between sales people and their prospective buyers… couldn’t be wider than it is today. The result: everyone ends up paying a “Pinocchio Tax.”

So, what is this so-called “Pinocchio Tax?”  Here’s an example: “After checking customer references, an intelligent, highly-educated business executive purchases an enterprise solution for their company from a lying, manipulative peddler, who is under pressure “to close.”  (By the way, what fool would share a bad reference anyway?)  Shortly thereafter it becomes clear that there are “issues” with implementing the newly purchased solution. The result: Buyers don’t trust themselves and HATE sales because…

  • The credibility and competency (and career) of the decision-maker is brought into question.
  • Additional consulting professional services may have to be contracted to make things work and quite often higher prices are passed on to consumers to cover business losses.
  • Buyers don’t trust themselves so they form evaluation & selection committees who often don’t know as much as a single qualified subject matter expert who has abdicated the influence of their expertise, influence, and authority, for fear of failure.
  • Projects become longer, more susceptible to failure, and more expensive to manage resulting in elongated buying cycles that cause vendor sales forecasts to fluctuate wildly, seemingly without cause.
  • The best sales professionals in the business are often forced into “rebound sales & buying relationships” and are held hostage to new flawed buying processes and expectations because buyers remain traumatized by a previous buying relationship. Buyers never really give the best a fair shot at delivering their best.

In the end… this Pinocchio Tax hits most businesses, organizations, and the legitimate sales professionals who are working to improve their businesses and households. The But I Hate Sales™ seminars and products are being launched to empower businesses and consumers preparing for sales engagements. Legitimate sales professionals will be delighted because now, your buyers will know who you are and will prefer to do business with you. It’s about time.

This post was originally published from the “But I Hate Sales™ website.

Christopher Bell, III