Why Transparency is Better than Perfection in Sales

BY Rachel Cagle
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Dishonest. It’s the last way you want to be described as while pitching a sale, but it is probably how you’re coming off if you’re trying to paint your product or service as perfect, no matter what. That’s the advice Todd Caponi gives salespeople in a recent SellingPower article.


Isn’t the perfect pitch what you should be striving for, though? You’re so convincing that, even if your product or service isn’t as good of a fit for the prospect as you would’ve hoped, you can still close the deal? While you should be striving to prove to your client that they need what you’re offering, you should only do so if you’re being sincere. 

If you’re pitching a miracle product, especially if they keep questioning how effective your product will actually be for their specific, and perhaps less conventional need, you’ll likely be making your prospects wary of how much they can trust you. As you talk with your prospect, you may realize that your product isn’t the perfect fit you thought it was or another factor may throw a wrench in the works. When that happens, you have to be honest with the prospect, even if that means they may not end up buying your product. 

The Result

When you are transparent with prospects and clients, they’ll see that you care more about fitting their needs than making money, and that makes you trustworthy. Then, next time you pitch a product or service that is actually a great match for them, they’ll be more confident about making a purchase from you.

Caponi says that when business relationships are built on trust, “sales cycles shorten, win rates go up, we qualify deals in faster, we qualify deals out faster that we would have lost anyway, and we make it really difficult for our competitors to position against us. Those who don’t embrace transparency, authenticity, and unexpected honesty are destined to wake up one morning with an empty pipeline — and, eventually, an empty wallet.”