Few people cite ethics as a major factor when it comes to selling and employing strategies and tactics to get the job done. However, using ethics in selling can help an organization build a good reputation and consolidate its position in the market. Ethics are learned and can make a big difference in making sales and having a loyal customer base.
Ethics in selling include:
Proper interaction: Proper interaction means being respectful at all times. Controlling emotion is a big part of that. Even when a customer is excited or aggravated, the sales executive has to be patient and respectful. Typically, the reason for an upset customer is based on something outside of your control, but customers still may need to vent. Let them do it.
Backing out: Most sales executives do not know when to push and when to back out. That is very important when making a sale. Backing out at the right time can keep you in a respectful position and allow for future work together.
Go to bed knowing you did the right thing: My father always taught me, if you can go to bed at night, look up in the dark and say, “I did the right thing for all people, not just myself,” then you should be able to sleep well.
Tell it like it is: The key to getting a loyal customer base is to be truthful at all times. When the customer asks you for suggestions, offer the information in its truest form, even if your product or service is not the best option. That’s right. Doing the right thing is always more important than the sale.
Be innovative: The key to having a consistent sales base is to come up with creative ideas for marketing and promoting. Know what your competitors are doing and stay informed, but use your own methods and strategies to stand out from the competition. Do not copy or borrow ideas. Instead, brainstorm as a team with your prospect or customer and take valuable suggestions. They need you to be a sounding board, not just a pusher of your product or service.
Customer satisfaction: Customer satisfaction should be given the utmost priority. Come up with surveys and ways to generate feedback so that you can be aware of what you are doing wrong. Do proper research and know how to appeal to customers on a deeper level.
What are they thinking about?: Your customers have interests and concerns other than what you offer them. Be their sounding board and a connector. Who do they want to meet? What do they need outside of what you offer? Helping in ways that are outside of your scope is the key to being a real partner. That is ethics because it’s about truly helping.
Ethics in selling may seem like a luxury you cannot afford; but, in the long run, standing out in the rat race and building your empire and loyal customer base calls for true dedication and ethical selling.?
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business, a sales consulting and training firm. She is a best-selling author of “To Sell is NOT to Sell” and works with Fortune 1,000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips, go to schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics,” a weekly video tip series, or email sales questions to email@example.com.