Test your integrity quotient to meet your quota…or not.

If you regularly read my blog, you know about the PITA client—”pain in the ass” prospects who drain your team’s time, resources, and morale. I’ve made the case many times that salespeople should walk away from a PITA sales opportunity as fast as you can.

However, there are other reasons to walk away that I never considered. Jill Konrath covers these points in her blog, which she agreed to let me share (in full) below.

Read on to learn why some sales opportunities just aren’t worth the headache:

Sales Integrity is Being Willing to NOT Sell Something
By Jill Konrath

Would you dare to walk away from a sales opportunity? I’m talking about one that’s a big deal. It could help you meet your quota—or better yet, earn a nice bonus. Or maybe it’s one from a big-name company that, if you had it on your client list, would give you tons of credibility. Even thinking about walking away is tough for most sellers—especially after how hard we work for a living. But let me just say that there are times when it makes all the sense in the world.

The first time I did it, was at the end of the year. It was the deal that would get me to our President’s Club. But I also knew that the prospect would be making a bad decision. They didn’t want to spend over $10,000—but they needed a system that cost twice as much. I knew that if they got the lower-priced model, they’d hate me—and it, within months. I walked. It was tough.

I also walked once in the middle of a consulting project. My client wasn’t doing their part. Because of this, we couldn’t have a successful outcome, and continuing to pay me to work on it made no sense. So I had a serious conversation with them, wrapped up a few loose ends, and then walked.

Again, it was tough. But it was the right thing to do for everyone concerned. Being willing to NOT sell something is a matter of integrity. Don’t sacrifice short-term gains for long-term success. 

Today’s customer wants to deal with credible people who’ll tell them the truth. And that’s a fact. 

Question: How do you display integrity in sales?


If you know Jill, you know she’s stepped away from her sales business to pursue a new opportunity: her passion to make the world a better place. Read this post from last year to find out how you can help.

(Image attribution: Ketut Subiyanto)