Ethical Selling is the route to Long-Term Success
With bonuses and incentives for high levels of sales, rather than high professional standards, money motivated sales staff will use dark arts and shortcuts to make quick sales.
They jump from ship to ship, claiming incredible numbers, building their own reputation whilst simultaneously destroying the reputation of the companies they work.
I recently attended a SquarePeg networking evening in Sheffield as a guest panellist for a discussion about ethics in business.
Promoting Ethics in Sales is a particular passion project of mine. Last October I posted about passing my APS ethical sales exam, which was the first step on my journey to Elevate Everywhere the status of professional sales.
Part of the mission involves the APS and that is to make Sales an accredited Chartered profession just like Accountancy and Financial Services by 2020.
Perspective is a really valuable tool to assess what our ethics in sales looks like.
To salespeople, cold calling and bonuses are par for the course. But to the people who’s golf club you’re playing at, it’s the equivalent of blowing an air horn as someone’s about to tee off!
Now, does that mean I disapprove of cold-calling or bonuses?
What it does mean though is that as businesses we need to seriously consider the impression we give off when we approach what we do.
This means asking for customer feedback, asking ourselves;
Are we meeting needs…or meeting targets?
Are we honest with ourselves with the question, does what I have in my bag fix your problem?
So often I relate this message only to salespeople – but in reality, small business owners ARE salespeople and need to ask themselves those same questions.
- Would you downsell to people who want more than they need for instance?
- Do you ever overhype what your product or service will do for people?
- Every time you sell, is your reputation building or crumbling?
These are the types of question we need to ask ourselves when selling. Otherwise, we’re not selling ourselves.
As a business, selling ethically is the route to long-term success. Which is the bottom line.