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    We may learn much from today’s political scene. Newscasters and folks on Twitter are now tallying “Pinocchio” statements for those in the news. That is, counting the lies that spew forth is now in full force in addition to becoming a game. In the business world, no one lasts long when lies are detected.

    Trust is the soul of sales.

    Why this matters so much is that our personal brand is at stake every time we speak. Those who watch us will match our statements with the actions we take. More than ever, people are recognizing a record number of inconsistencies and are on the lookout to see if our words, actions and deeds match up.

    Job Interviews

    On job interviews or in client meetings, many times we hear questions that leave us stumbling. The next time you encounter one of these, stop to ask, “Please provide insight as to why you are asking so that I may give you an improved response.” Doing so provides an improved perspective. It also provides insight on how to answer in a way that will satisfy the question.

    When on job interviews, and upon hearing difficult questions arise, consider taking the following actions:

    • Reply with what you know to be true
    • Ask for more information as appropriate
    • Defer the uncertain questions until adequate research provides you with a sound answer.

    Reputation Management

    In today’s online world, our reputations precede us. Yes, the right thing to do is to apologize when a blunder is made. But it’s even better to stop and think about the pointed inquiry, and how to approach the answer to avoid the misstep in its entirety.

    Raise Self-Awareness

    On the honesty meter, how would you rate yourself? Have you:

    • “Fudged” answers on job interviews
    • Misled prospective clients during meetings
    • Added extras to your resume that aren’t 100% truthful?

    Any lingering doubt about some steps you previously took tells you that change is in order. The problem with not being wholly truthful is that stress comes into play. You worry about how things will work out and then create an entirely new host of issues with which to concern yourself.

    From this point forward, do the opposite of what we are currently hearing in the news. Take the pledge to avoid Pinocchio messaging and instead, tell the truth. It makes life easier. You will be far more likely to hear HIRED! Both hiring managers and clients will appreciate you all the more.

    Sales Tips

    1. Think before you speak
    2. Avoid having to apologize
    3. Ask the reasoning behind difficult questions
    4. After answering difficult questions, inquire if the answer was satisfactory
    5. Admit when you do not understand terminology.
    6. Suggest time be allowed for you to research additional information.
    7. Ask for timelines to provide requested details.
    8. Deliver your researched answers before the deadline.
    9. Gain agreement that everything is in good order.
    10. Celebrate success!

    Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, was honored by Open View Labs with inclusion in their international list of “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012.” Elinor authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and the best selling career book, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press. She provides team sales training, private coaching and highly acclaimed inspirational keynotes for conferences. Elinor is available for consultation. Kred ranks Stutz as a Top 1% influencer; CEO World Magazine named Stutz as one of “The brightest sales minds to follow on Twitter”. She speaks and consults worldwide.

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