women practicing sales ethics

Ethics In Sales Will Help You Stay Ahead

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Likely, you’ve encountered fellow sales reps who worked without strong sales ethics. Often, selling by any means necessary is how deals are won, but is that really the best course of action? Not necessarily, according to Lestraundra Alfred, a writer for HubSpot Sales Blog. “Cutting corners with customers during the sales process doesn’t result in greater returns,” she writes. “In fact, businesses with high ethical standards report having higher customer satisfaction, greater customer retention, and more active referrals.” Additionally, this kind of behavior contributes to salespeople’s reputation of being pushy, aggressive and self-serving.

Sales ethics are vital to not only the reputation of the industry, but you and your clients’ overall satisfaction and success. Alfred shares ethical sales behaviors that she encourages readers to consider for their own business practices.

Be accountable.

No matter what mistake or misstep you make, own up to it. This is basic ethics. Ducking from responsibility or shifting blame to someone else won’t help you save face. A much better choice, according to Alfred, is “being accountable for your actions and offering a solution to remedy the situation is a more ethical approach.” Plus, your honesty shows that you have integrity and genuinely care about serving the client.

Be fair when comparing competitors.

Badmouthing a competitor should never be a tactic to win business. While it’s important for salespeople to understand the competitive landscape, speaking poorly of or lying about a rival business are not OK. “When talking to customers, it’s important that you speak honestly about competitor offerings,” she advises. “Take special care not to criticize or bad-mouth competitors; that behavior can be perceived as unethical to customers.” This doesn’t mean that you have to always give them glowing reviews either. She suggests that, when asked about a competitor, focus on your product or service’s standout features and benefits rather than badmouthing the alternative.

These are only two sales ethics suggested by Alfred; all are important in ensuring that you uphold ethical behavior during the entire sales process. Not only will you be doing what’s best for your clients, but also cementing your, and your company’s, reputation as trustworthy and honest.

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Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel and Media Sales Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.
January 14, 2020 Managing Yourself, Sales Tips