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Top 10 Dumb Lies Reps Tell Managers


Contrary to what many people think, sometimes it's OK to lie to the boss. After all, your manager is lying to you about salaries, layoffs, office politics, etc.. Since that's the nature of the business world, you have the ethical right to lie in return if it serves your career. (Example: lying about taking the morning off to interview for another job.) Even so, there are a set of lies that sales reps tell their sales managers that most sales managers know are bogus. Here they are:

  • LIE #10: Budget is not an issue with this customer. Truth: budget is always an issue.
  • LIE #9: These are all qualified opportunities. Truth: Some must be more qualified than others.
  • LIE #8: It's a qualified lead, but they have no money. Truth: No money means they're not qualified.
  • LIE #7: I have all the important customer notes in my head. Truth: I'm too lazy to write them down.
  • LIE #6: I entered all the details in our CRM system. Truth: You entered the minimum required.
  • LIE #5: I am working from home this morning. Truth: Yeah, right.
  • LIE #4: I made 100 cold calls today. Truth: You made some calls, but probably not THAT many.
  • LIE #3: I don't cold call because it is not a good way to generate new business. Truth: You don't cold call because you hate cold calling.
  • LIE #2: These new leads just advanced right before this funnel review meeting, so I don't have all the details. Truth: You're not on top of your accounts.
  • LIE #1: I expect to hit my quota, but as luck would have it, most of my customers will be making a decision in the last week of the quarter. Truth: You're praying that something will close by then.
READERS: Is this the right list? What else should be on it?

By the way, the idea for this list (and most of the contents) came from observations about real-world sales behavior by Peak Sales Recruiting, a company that, in the words of one executive, is a "passionate defender of ethics in the sales profession."

The remarks about being allowed to lie, though, are IMHO. Or rather, to be truthful, they're an opinion I borrowed from Scott Adams, who pointed out during an interview that if a company asks you to work unpaid overtime, you are within your rights to use some of that time to create your own business.