Karma Blog Q and A 4
‘My question is about Truthfulness in business life…’
In my profession as a sales manager in a software company there comes a time where Truthfulness is been challenged. An example: my company’s official statement on a particular availability of a product release is that the product is ready for the customer as expected, but unofficially I am aware that the product will not in fact reach the customer in the promised date. As the company “ambassador” I am some times asked to portray the “official voice” and say to the customer “yes, the product is ready and will be delivered on time”, but internally I know it is not.
As I am writing to you about it, it obviously troubles me. I send healing that any reactions will not affect me and the company and that in fact there will not be a need to work like that. I understand that the company business logic is that they do not want to lose the deal therefore they do not portray the actual status (they are afraid the customer will cancel the project) and that’s why they do that.
My question is : how much am I being karmicly affected by this, even though I am not the owner or decision maker in this–I “just” deliver the company voice. –Y.A., Israel
Truthfulness equals reputation, market position, profits
It makes good sense and good profitability to be truthful in business. We can understand this in a number of different ways.
- A very important condition of business is to have enough financial capital to function. When a company is financially under-capitalized and seeks to expand its business, it has very high chances of failing. This is because it runs out of money for day to day expenses.
- Similarly, if your sales team is ‘undercapitalized’ in the factual (truthful) situation, you will run out of credibility and performance reputation and, ultimately, in sales figures. This will be because you would be short on the currency of truthful reality–which is the face of the company.
Just as businesses lose out by over-reaching their targets without financial capital, similar over-reach in sales with a lack of delivering-as-promised currency will create a systems failure of sorts even though you may have a great product.
Creativity with the truth
Some degree of ‘creativity’ with the truth is the norm in business, and where delay in delivery is not critical, this may be nothing more than an irritant to the client. This raises some ethical issues, but is the practice in business. As we will discover, this creativity or economy with the truth does not pay over time.
There are bound to be instances where delivery timeliness is important and not being able to deliver as promised will create a serious issue. In such cases, it would be practical to deal with clients keeping this in mind. Eventually the company reputation or the sales team’s reputation will suffer. This again would not be good for business.
A so-called negative state can be converted to the positive
To begin with, on the one hand you have a sales function to perform, and on the other hand there is a likely problem of delays.
If you have to promise delivery according to the schedule given by your company then you need to convey this to your clients in a way that does not compromise your company’s official position, and at the same time does not create a bad impression on the client. Also, that this does not get you some bad karma credits.
You can do this a number of ways:
- State the reason for possible delay in a positive way. This may sound strange but it is not really. For example, if the reason for delay is that you cannot produce/provide the product or upgrade (or whatever it is) in time because the demand is greater than what you can fulfill, then you can state this as– ‘there is a greater demand than what we can supply–I will try and get you a priority delivery because… I really want you to benefit from our product…/ we have a great business relationship…/ I want to develop a great business relationship with you../I would like you to have the latest version which will be available a few days later… .etc..etc’ –as may be applicable.
There is no need to think or state–‘we cannot deliver in time because we are not geared up for it, or we have management or finance problems, (or whatever the problem is).’
- The bottom line is– ‘we cannot keep up with the demand!’–and when you say this, be prepared to work for the goal that comes out being in high demand, such as getting your client a priority delivery or give him some free after sales support or other benefit within your authority. Thus not being able to deliver in time now has become a ‘positive’ factor.
- Of course, these are not to be imaginary or false promises or reasons. I give these only as an example of how you can turn around an apparent negative to a positive. If you touch a point which is of importance to your client and you really try to help him, he will usually be willing to tolerate some inconvenience.
- Most importantly, if the following is not in place, then–Talk to your company to work out a strategy of an action plan for dealing with these issues in a way so that the whole sales team has a plan how to respond uniformly with such issues. Very important.
This will prevent unnecessary conflict within different sales teams and members in terms of the way they talk to clients and present the ‘company line’. Where potential clients get conflicting responses of the ‘company line’ from different persons in the same organization, they will see this as a lack of credibility, and may end up deciding not to do business with you because the company seems to be giving significantly different information about the same issue. This is a ‘shady’ image.
- Your clients do not have the time to go deep into the merits of what your company’s real position is. They would rather deal with your competitor with a lesser product (or a more expensive–better? product)–but who gives uniform information, or delivers on what it says.
- Reliability of promise to deliver the service or product in the time agreed upon is of very great importance. So is after-sales support.
First-time clients would rely on referrals by existing clients or the market reputation or your sales brochure and sales pitch. Assess what is your company’s and your competition’s market reputation, and identify what need to be addressed accordingly. Having done that, do what is necessary to get the right, suitable “company sales voice”.
- Finally, by analyzing why there is a chronic delay in delivery of the product or service, you or your company may uncover areas that can save money and increase business.
Management is always looking to identify ways to expand business and market-share and reduce costs, and it cannot do this without satisfying clients.
- Any expansion of business needs increase in infrastructure, trained personnel, and working capital. These may be limiting factors also. It might help the sales team to be aware of the constraints.
From this you can see that truthfulness is always a good and comfortable place to be.
- Revealing the truth only as much as is needed is also a wise policy. Where things are not in your control, you have little or no responsibility (karmic reaction).
If you utilize the strategy as detailed above to the extent it is applicable or doable by you, and send healing to the purpose needed, then you will remain karma-free. Doable means that it is within your area of authority and responsibility. If it is not, then modify the guidelines given according to the extent you have responsibility and authority.
Final word–bosses do not like you to complain to them about your supervisors or superiors even if you are right. That is because it shows them that they may have made an error of judgment in choosing that person. Bosses do not usually like admitting in public that they have been wrong, so keep this in mind.
A helpful strategy is to let your boss present this as his idea and you can back him up. (It also protects you if there is a down-side!) If you show you are a team player loyal to your immediate superior and are making him look good, he will in turn look after you. If he feels threatened by your insights, you will not be there long as you may be viewed as serious competition.
You need to know your position in the organization and in relationship to your various bosses, juniors, peers. This is the reality of business and human relationships. Relationships are a very large part of the delivery system of karma, and how we manage these gives us results.
I hope this clears up the issue…
Love and light, blessings.