Mark Slatin has a most interesting post on Trusted Advisor.  In Transparency and Selling, he writes:

Yet, we’re trained to go in come back with information that will close the sale. Hunt it, kill it and bring it back to eat.

• What if, instead of dancing around an answer we don’t know, we just admit we don’t know?
• What if, instead of promising something we probably can’t deliver, we admit that and then tell them what we can do?
• What if, instead of offering “teaser” pricing and then covertly getting it on the back end, we share our cost structure?

These examples are counter-intuitive–downright treasonous in some circles.

Without the pretension, void of false promises and out on a limb – we are, admittedly exposed, naked and vulnerable.

But wouldn’t you rather buy from a seller who is willing to show you his cards, even if–perhaps because–you both know it might cost him the sale? That visceral reaction works in reverse when transparency dominates relationships (think Madoff, Blagojevich).

There are some great insights here.  One thought that immediately pops up is the pressure to cross-sell.  I wrote about that issue in Can I introduce you to my partner (pssst–what’s your name?)?  But Mark’s piece provides much more insight into the notion that selling is all about building trust and having the client’s needs come first.