[E18] Fundamentals Week: False Hope

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Authentic Persuasion Show
Authentic Persuasion Show
[E18] Fundamentals Week: False Hope
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If the previous episode was all about hope being an important part of a successful sales experience, then what happens when you fail to create hope for your prospects?

Or worse yet, when you provide false hopes?

We see it all the time now on commercials for products ‘Results vary and are not typical for everyone’ – whether it is a new weight loss program, wonder drug, and credit card offer.

So why do salespeople give false hopes? And what ways will they do it?

Listen to this episode to find out.


Episode 18 – Transcript

Welcome to Episode 18 of The Sales Experience Podcast. My name is Jason Cutter – hopefully, you are enjoying this podcast. I hope you are getting lots of value from it in these short daily bite-sized themed chunks. My hope is that there is so much value that you have subscribed, left a rating and review, and shared it with everyone you know.

Why do I want you to do that? Because I know that by listening to this podcast you will make a million dollars in commissions in the next 12 months. Doesn’t matter what you sell – could be a $100 ticket price or $10,000. What you will learn from me will make you millions over the life of your sales career. I know that if you are listening to this then what you need most is everything I am going to teach you. If you want to make $10 million, send me an email and let’s set up a call. I know for sure you will be rich just by talking to me. The fact that you are here means you want it bad enough to download a free podcast and without even meeting you I know you have what it takes. Trust me, I know people!

You excited now? Pumped up? Feel that rush of hope and energy? Some of you listening might actually believe what I just said and think I was being sincere. I see it a lot of with people who follow and idolize the big or new guru out there selling everyone on the dream of riches and success. The gurus who take pictures on a private jet so you can see that it is possible.

Of course, its possible…its just not easy. And it’s not everyone’s path, no matter how many books they buy, or tickets to events, or programs they enroll in. It is always possible for everyone to achieve whatever level of success they desire – if they work hard enough. But everyone’s path is different.


Alright, back to hope. I did my motivational guru pump you up hope speech because I wanted for you to hear what it sounds like when hope is done wrong – when its just false hope meant to get you excited. Could you make a million dollars in commissions in the next 12 months? Absolutely. Could you do it as a result of listening to this podcast? Hopefully. But no guarantee.

Listening to podcasts or reading books or watching Youtube videos alone wont get you there. It takes massive action and doing things in alignment with that goal. But me telling you that it will for sure happen is terrible and misleading.

This episode is about hope gone bad…when salespeople give false hopes. When you give your prospects the impression that everything will indeed be sunshine and rainbows as a result of buying your product or service, then you are setting them up for disappointment. Let’s say you sell new cars. If you were tell everyone that by buying this here Honda Civic that they will be the envy of everyone they meet – that won’t actually happen. Some of their friends, maybe, but not everyone.

If you promised that they would never have a single issue with the car because Honda makes great cars – then that would be setting them up for being angry if anything does go wrong with the car. Which it will…given enough time something will need to be fixed. Giving them the hope that they will have a reliable car with a three year warranty that will cover anything that breaks is one thing. Telling them nothing will ever break is a false hope.

When you give your prospects false hopes it moves you into the category of slick manipulating salesperson. False hopes and exaggerated results are what snake oil salesmen used to do. Its part of what has given the sales profession such a bad reputation.  

And we have all seen it in action – in those As Seen On TV ads. That copper coated frying pan does look amazing. Nothing ever sticks to it! It’s so easy to use and clean, it will change your life. But wait, there’s more – you can get two for the same price. Amazing. I bought one of those copper frying pans at a store – it was actually labeled with the As Seen On TV packaging. Now it sits in my kitchen cabinet scorched with stuff that got stuck to it that couldn’t be removed. I am sure I did something wrong, but they promised nothing would ever stick!

We have all done that, where we fell for the grandiose promises of a product or service only to be let down. It might have still been a good experience, but it wasn’t what was promised. That gap in what we expected based on what we were told and sold, and what we experienced is where the disappointment lies.

When you use false, exaggerated hopes to get prospects to buy from you, you are setting them up for disappointment. If you know that what offer isn’t likely to do all the things you claim, or if it does it is the rare case not the norm, then you are building false hopes on a sandy foundation of lies. It will come back to haunt you. Either your customers will cancel, want a refund, return what they bought, or complain publicly. 

I will tell you based on all the sales reps I have worked with, avoid the internal voice that tells you its okay to pump up your product or service. Its usually driven by your need to close more deals – to either meet quota or make commission. It’s the same voice that shifts the focus from help the prospect get what they need to you getting what you want.

If your product or service helps people, focus on those qualities in order to build hope and value. If your product or service has blind spots – things that might be seen as a negative or trade off – then make sure your prospects know those as well. Its important to set that proper expectation. Give them true hope or their situation, not false hopes.

Honesty is always the best policy, so make sure that your staying away from using false hopes to get your way. When you give all the positives and none of the negatives, then you are setting things up to also sound too good to be true. No product or service is perfect for everyone in all situations.

As humans we tend to do that same thing in another area of our lives – courtship and dating. We tell and show the person all our amazing qualities and traits. We give them the highlights of the brochure. We get them excited for who we are. At least when everything is going great. What we usually don’t equally share is our faults, or how we react when life isn’t going well. We are all human, so we all have faults. Maybe you’re a messy person. Maybe you are always late. Maybe you get angry in traffic. Maybe your really bad at managing your finances. Whatever it is, there are things you aren’t going to mention upfront. You just want to close the deal, and go on additional dates. But over time, the truth will come out. Then there will be surprises, disappointments, arguments, hurt feelings, and so on.

The same thing happens in sales. You might get that deal today by giving false hopes, whether you are over promising the awesomeness of your product or service, or glossing over and ignoring the potential flaws. But that prospect will be unhappy later on, once they start to see all the aspects of what they bought.

That’s it for our conversation about utilizing hope during the sales process. If you didn’t listen to it, check out the previous episode where I discussed how to build hope in the right ways and for the right reasons. Until next time, always remember that everything in life is sales and people will remember the experience you gave them.

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