In my last post, I talked about ruffling some feathers, and today, I’m sure I’ll do just that. That’s OK. When you push for change, sometimes you just have to bring it.
Only my opinion, but I do have plenty of evidence to suggest that I’m not far off the mark. My colleague, Kelley Robertson shared a post on LinkedIn that told the tale of the salesperson who “lied” to get a call back. This was no accident. Said salesperson indicated in a voice mail that his company was interested in talking to Kelley about sales training. Naturally, Kelley called the guy back only to uncover the ruse in seconds. The worst part is that this salesperson wasn’t apologetic in the least. Nope, just asked Kelley if he’d like to a see demo of the product.
I wish I could say that this is the first time I’ve heard of this happening. And, honestly, it is downright depressing. Are salespeople really this desperate? I mean, seriously, you think lying is how you are going to begin a relationship that will lead to a sale? You think you can cheat your way to achieving sales quota?
I know the Glengarry Glen Ross types do still hold management roles today. There is no doubt in my mind that their mantra of do ANYTHING to get in the door is being preached day in and day out. Eventually, that will backfire and they’ll be put out to pasture. As far as I’m concerned, it couldn’t happen soon enough.
But the integrity problem is even more pervasive.
The great thing about technology today is that information is so easily available. The bad thing is that it is so easily available.
Social selling experts (and really, who isn’t one these days?) talk a lot about sharing content. Content is definitely a cornerstone of your social selling strategy. As you share content though, are you making sure to give credit where credit is due?
Sharing an article from Forbes where it is clear who wrote it is not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is when you Tweet something, mention it on a webinar or include a reference to the work of someone else in your blog post, but don’t name your source. I see far to many people who do not appropriately credit and give attribution to the actual creators of the work being shared. When you don’t do this it creates a perception that this is something you created when you didn’t.
There’s this thing called copyright.
The moment someone puts their name on their own original content, they own it. They’ve no doubt spent a fair amount of time to create their work. Respect that.
If you want to quote from my Sales and Social Media Quota Report, that’s awesome, thank you. What is not so awesome is when people use some of the research statistics but either don’t list me as a co-author, or they don’t site the report source at all. That’s a problem. You have to make it crystal clear what work belongs to you and what content is the work of others. On this one, I really take exception, because if I cared to, and I don’t, I could give you the names of experts who make it sound like my research is their work. When you quote from other people’s content, you need to cite the source and ALL of the authors involved. After all, they put the time and energy into creating the material.
Plagiarism is rampant and folks – that’s stealing!
Call me a Pollyanna but it would never occur to me to steal other people’s work and pass it off as my own. Yet, you would be surprised how many people do it. It’s obvious, but these thief’s don’t seem to care an iota. Colleagues have shared horror stories of someone attending their training program, taking their materials, slap their own logo right on the front cover and sell it as their own. What? I mean, come on, you are going to be that blatant about it? While we in the biz would surely know, because that kind of news travels fast, unsuspecting customers might not. To me, that’s a problem. If you would steal the work of colleagues, can you be trusted with sensitive customer material? Probably not. But some of these hacks have been getting away with it for some time, which totally boggles the mind.
If all you do is recite quips that other people have been using for years, you add nothing to the conversation. Stop being a copycat. Be unique. Bring something fresh to the table. Cheese ball quotes and grand standing only serve to make you look ignorant. I’m a pretty open, trusting person who likes to share ideas. But it definitely stings when I’m talking to someone about a particular idea or view of the world I have and the next thing you know, they write the blog post like they thought it up themselves.
Let’s change things, shall we.
I absolutely understand why the selling profession is viewed, in large part, as sleazy. When you have people who will lie, cheat, steal and copycat the work of others, instead of doing the hard work themselves, it is no wonder.
And damn it, I’m going to keep fighting to change it! Will you join me?
If you’ve been ripped off, share your story! If your boss tells you to lie to get in the door, I want to hear about it, although protect your anonymity. If you want to see sellers conduct themselves with more integrity, please give me a shout-out here.
There it is. That’s my rant. That is all.