How to put ethics at the heart of your business? Ethics and selling, here are two words which for some do not seem very compatible at first. Is the consultant seller an oxymoron? How do you define ethics when you have something to sell? What about reality on the ground? How do the best businessmen do to combine ethics and commercial efficiency?
Ethics at the heart of your business
If you must remember that only one thing of this article is to: respect the ethics and transparency of the sale.
Transparency… let’s talk about it!
How many are not?
How many do not even think about being because they feel that certain things are not their customers’ concern?
However, transparency, honesty, truth …
… These are very powerful psychological triggers to convince and seduce your client (especially in our time when – almost – everything is appearance…).
In addition to being noble values that everyone should have, it is a powerful lever!
And believe me …
… honesty from a stranger …
… that we have never met and which, a priori, could easily lie to us …
… It’s so RARE that people love it and will trust you instantly!
The master sellers, I cannot repeat it often enough, do not “bribe”, do not “talk”. When you ask the biggest sellers “what do you think are the qualities that make an exceptional seller?” “, They most often cite the client’s honesty and advocacy.
Too many sellers, too many entrepreneurs tend to attach importance only to immediate sale, sale at all costs, forgetting the major interest which consists in satisfying customers in order to retain them. What does the sale matter if there is no other sale? How can a business develop with an ephemeral clientele?
The only valid rule for retaining customers is to serve them well, without ever harming them. It has never happened to you, for example in a ready-to-wear store, to put on a garment that is too large or too small to immediately receive declarations from a hypocritical seller “that suits you very well”, or even to be pushed to consumption without having been questioned about your tastes or budgets?
In general, you come out nervous and determined not to set foot in this place of sale. This is how to force the sale, a seller loses both the sale and the customer?
However, those who cause the greatest damage to their functions as well as to the company they represent, are the dream merchants, those who promise mountains and wonder! False promise on quality, performance, delivery times, etc. There is something for everyone in this area.
So what is business ethics?
During the sales interview, it is the loyalty of the argument, the sincerity of the promises, the consideration of the true interests of the customer.
Finally, halfway between ethics and “commercial good manners”, the seller will be able to go outside the formal framework of his function to render to his customers, whenever he can, some services free of charge, personal or professionals, not calling for a patent counterpart.
Personally, I consider ethics as the first principle to follow when doing marketing.
When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. They often received calls from companies trying to take advantage of their old age or gullibility to force them to buy expensive and useless products.
In the same way, they received many letters in which they were always the big winners of contests in which they had never participated. They just had to buy for X € of products to receive their exceptional price of One Million euros … or another gift of lesser value?
These unscrupulous practices aimed at trapping the elderly have helped me to realize the importance of ethics in marketing – and in commerce in general.
Beyond simple morality, it is your image that is played with each action.
As a marketing professional, each of your actions has an impact on your image and influences your future success.
That said, by the admission of elite salespeople and top entrepreneurs, these “gifts”, whether free or concealing a self-interested attitude, are a particularly powerful glue in the seller / customer relationship.
Here are some of the most effective things in the BTB sector:
- Send clients to your clients;
- Send your customers documents, information, press articles relating to their market, their concerns or even their passions;
- Do not miss, on the occasion of the new year to offer a personalized gift that stands out from the eternal fountain pen in the colors of the house;
- Congratulate the client on an event that gets people talking;
- Give your client the opportunity to satisfy a passion;
- Find a paid internship with your client’s student children or a summer job.
Concretely, you must respect the ethical principles in force and develop with your customers a true relationship of partners.
Be careful, it would be illusory to believe that this relationship can be forged after a week. Indeed, several months are often necessary before a lasting relationship is established, marked by mutual respect, even mutual sympathy. But know that as soon as you get there, he becomes an unconditional fan and also a customer that the competition will find it hard to dislodge.
Before concluding this article, I want to pass this final sales law on to you: love your customers.
Between us, you owe them that much, they entrust you with their most precious material asset: their money? To love his client is to send him sincere praise, to manage his self-esteem, to call him by name, to listen to him really, with non-feigned attention, to want his good, to share his joys, his worries, to make him feel his importance, be capable of selfless attention, know his passions, have esteem for him, thinking that he deserves it…
And all without giving up your personality, because the “blessed yes-yes” never make good sellers.
Believe me, people who know how to sell really love their customers and they make them happy… with regular purchases!
What you should remember
- Be honest ;
- Don’t promise mountains and wonder;
- To sell is to beautify, never to lie;
- Defend the client’s interest as strong as you defend yours;
- Help your clients achieve their goals;
- Help your customers (without necessarily expecting immediate compensation);
- Love and respect your customers.