I had an interesting cup of coffee with Anthony about sales a couple of days ago. Actually, the coffee while good was pretty normal, but the conversation was interesting. Anthony's background is old school sales - selling all sorts of things in high pressure sales teams. He talked about some of the tricks of the trade which are far from honest. Saying to someone "let me call my supervisor and see if I can get you a discount," then going out for a smoke and coming back pretending you had authorisation for the discount you were going to give all along.
Anthony has a come a long way since those days. He was talking to me because he wants to train sales people to make sales authentically. He said that he believes that is what the market wants - honesty and authenticity - and that Dodgy Brothers sales techniques don't work any more.
I talked about the Love Your Business approach to sales. Only make a sale where you and your customer will feel better. The sales process is about convincing yourself that that will be the case. And it means saying no when you don't think the sale will really benefit the customer or if you don't want to work with them.
Peter Block writes about consulting engagements that any issue with a consulting client was always there in the contracting meeting (which is fancy consultant speak for the sales meeting). I agree - how you are in the sale sets the tone for whole relationship between your business and your client. Be authentic!