Everyday we hear on the news about another scam, some wealthy CEO that cheats his company, a Wall Street mogul that bilks the public for millions or a politician that abuses his power and destroyes the publics trust. It seems that values taught by their parents no longer apply to them as adults. That’s why so many people are so stingy with their trust. There’s an old saying “let the buyer beware!” This lack of trust creates an adversarial relationship with cynical expectations.

I have spent my whole life in sales and have learned some important lessons along the way. First, it is not the product but the provider that makes the sale. No matter how good your product is, people will not buy from someone they dislike or don’t trust. That is why I have always contended that the most important qualities of a good salesman are:

As I have served in management positions and been hired to provide training across the country, these are the qualities I emphasize to others. When a person has these qualities, they are perceived more as a consultant to help business grow, and the companies they represent are seen as providing a much needed service and not just someone that “pushes” product.The key ingredient in each of these character traits is genuineness. These are not qualities that can be faked or turned on and off. You either are honest or you are not. It runs to your core and is part of you all the time in both your personal and professional life.

There is no price that can be placed on honesty, because if it can be bought then you didn’t have it in the first place.Integrity is what you stand for. It is your good name and core values. It is the line in the sand which you will never cross over. Your word is your bond and they know they can count on you. It makes you trustworthy and dependable – a constant that can be relied on.

Confidence is what makes you believable. Others will believe you because they can see and feel that you believe it. Confidence combined with honesty and integrity help them to know you are not being phony or just giving them a “pitch.” You believe what you are saying is true and that builds their confidence in you and what you have to offer.

We are all salesmen in one way or another. Whether representing a product or a service, what we are really selling is ourselves. Are we someone they can trust, believe in, count on and value? If the answer is no, then nothing else matters.When they see you as a person of integrity who is honest and confident in their ability to provide a real value to them or their business, then they know that you have their best interests at heart.

Sure they know you are representing a product or service, but they don’t feel like they are being “sold.” Whether your product turns out to be the right answer for their needs or not, they will respect you and admire the company you represent as a one that holds these values in high esteem.