The Integrity Equation


 The following article was written by Steve Pons, vice president – national sales, at Accolade Promotion Group (APG), a division of Golf Town Canada Inc.  





There are some great websites and blogs that talk about what it takes to succeed in sales and in business. Some that inspire, some that educate and some that provide tactical advice. While there are numerous sites that have great information, many paraphrase the same thing:

  • Sell solutions not products.
  • If you sell only on price, it will cost you in the end.
  • Innovation and change are the keys to success.

While these points validate the Holy Trinity of Sales (Service, Quality and Price), I would argue that there is a more important element to achieving long term success: integrity.

As I mentioned in my previous PromoKitchen post, I believe that not every client is the right fit for every company. Being honest with yourself and your clients, colleagues and partners reinforces your credibility and engenders mutual trust. People understand that you cannot always be transparent about every detail of your business, but they appreciate your honesty when you are working (or even negotiating) with them.

I equate it this way: Integrity = Empathy + Transparency

When you operate with integrity, you not only care about what you can offer your clients, colleagues and partners, but you also act as a consistent advocate on their behalf. No matter how good of a salesperson or business leader you may be, people can sense when you only operate with your self-interest in mind.

We can all name experiences where we have been shopping for products or services and a high-pressure salesperson kept trying to close the deal before we even had a chance to explain our needs or ask our questions. Compare this to an experience where someone genuinely takes the time to listen to your views, is interested in your situation and recommends a solution that leaves you wanting to recommend them to others.

The value of trust is often lauded in many sales and marketing articles, but being genuine in how you interact with everyone in business is what I believe will set you apart and make you truly successful.

Do you agree with the equation? Does it serve as a proper compass for how to operate? I’d love to hear your opinion either in the comments below or find my contact details at