What It Means to Have Relationship Integrity in Sales

November 30, 2017
What It Means to Have Relationship Integrity in Sales

What does relationship integrity have to do with sales? Well, just about everything!

I’m sure you’ve probably heard this quote by Zig Ziglar about a thousand times, but here it goes again: “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

Client relationships start with a basic foundation of friendliness and courtesy, and grow and prosper with relationship integrity. Relationship integrity is the crucial part of the relationship that gets clients to move up the client evolution model. It is the piece of the puzzle that turns you from a friendly salesperson with a likeable personality to a go-to resource for your type of solution.

Don’t forget, it’s the little things that add up that really make a difference to your clients.

What It Means to Have Relationship Integrity in Sales

Sticking to the schedule:

This is crucial when it comes to having relationship integrity. It means that you respect and value the time of your client. If there is a conflict in the calendar and you have to reschedule a phone call or a meeting, you do it as soon as you find out. You give the person on the other end enough time to comfortable reschedule. Be polite, be courteous, be timely!

Sell the best fit:

The basic definition of integrity is being honest and having strong moral principles. Both of those things require you to suggest only the best-fitting solutions to your clients. Don’t think about the numbers when you sell. It’s your job to solve your clients’ problems – commission is an afterthought.


When you act out of integrity, your actions are consistent over a period of time. Integrity does not exist without consistent, intentional actions. Relationship integrity won’t happen unless you’re always working to better solve your clients’ problems. An example of making a conscious effort of acting with integrity would be to answer emails as soon as you see them or have an answer.

Recognizing when you’re lacking integrity:

We’re only human. There’s going to come a time when you act in a way that may diminish relationship integrity to a degree. It’s your job to recognize when you’ve slipped up and immediately apologize and try to fix the problem. This doesn’t have to be anything dramatic, in fact, your slip up might be very minuscule. Let’s use the same example from before. You received and email and didn’t reply to it right away even though you had the answer. Turns out, you got distracted by another task and never got back to that client. As someone that values relationship integrity, it would be your duty to apologize and proactively fix any problem that was created because of your slip up.

Hold your clients and coworkers accountable:

When you’re striving to work out of integrity, it’s important to help others do the same. We always joke here at CFS imagining the perfect sales utopia of a world where everyone answers emails and phone calls. Believe it or not, this work begins with each sales person setting the example for the other. Do you part and get people on the same page about relationship integrity to promote buyer-seller relationship growth!

After reading this, I’m sure you’ve related to some of the things I’ve said. That’s great! It means you’re naturally on the right track to relationship integrity with your clients. If not, that’s okay too! You’ve got to start somewhere. So why not right here and right now?

Did you get an email while you were reading this? Answer it. Running late to a meeting? Apologize. Change for the better! Work every day and you will be the master of relationship integrity.

Free Resource: Making Client Relationships Work: A Guide for Sales Leaders

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