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Ethical Selling and why it’s important

By Ian Morrish


Ethical selling goes hand in hand with building trust

With over 35 years of sales experience, I have learned a great deal about how to sell and just as more importantly, what not to do…

From a personal perspective, I have always tried to work professionally and to a code of moral values. Over those 35 years I believe this approach to “Ethical selling” has stood me in good stead, as it often helps build a healthier ongoing relationship with clients.

Of course, sales by its very nature is very competitive. There is often constant pressure to complete the highest number of deals, with the greatest revenue and the highest level of commission. However, high targets, pressure from above and the desire to perform, can sometimes push salespeople into inappropriate sales behaviour. This in turn can easily tarnish the trust customers place in you and the respect for your organisation if you are not careful

So below some thoughts on how you might help deliver your sales program in an ethical and morally sound manner.

Honesty and Clarity

Believe and trust in your sales journey:
You must have confidence in both the product you are selling and the organisation you represent. Without this you will struggle to match your products and services to customer needs.

Present accurate information with confidence and clarity:
Salespeople who talk with confidence reassure customers that the information they present is reliable. Honesty and clarity foster credibility and limit doubt amongst prospective customers. Before you go into any presentation, do your research. Arm yourself with as much information and background as you can about your client and your products. If a question comes up that you don’t know the answer to, then just be honest and tell them you don’t know, but you will go and find out. In my opinion you will gain far more credibility for doing this, rather than just making up an answer or, worse still, telling them something that is not true. Just make sure though that you do get back to the client as soon as you can with the missing information.

Offer honest competitive comparisons:
An integral part of the job of a sales professional is that you understand your firm’s market position and your competitive environment. Knowledge of competitors’ products is important especially in terms of features and how they compare. You must provide truthful comparisons. Unfounded criticism is unethical. Never put down others to try to make yourself or your product look better. This will only damage your reputation.

Keep your promises

Fulfil your commitments:
Always do what you say you going to do. A salesperson must be responsible for any commitment made to a prospect or client. Be it to provide further information, make a follow-up call, or attend a scheduled meeting, it must be done. Failure to do so suggests a lack of commitment to the prospect’s business.

Tackle objections with sincerity:
How you deal with objections is critical. If an objection is well handled, this can put you firmly on the road to success. An ethical response, which acknowledges and appreciates the prospect’s concerns, will reflect positively on you, your product and your company.

Consider customer needs:
Only by understanding customers’ needs and expectations are salespeople able to provide accurate information. Conduct thorough background research, ask good questions and listen carefully to the responses.

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Here’s what our Industry Colleagues say about us...

Peerless-AV would like to pay tribute to the incredible work Gordon and his team have done since 2009. It’s sales and brand awareness since we launched Peerless-AV EMEA in 2009 has been massive. Gordon’s strategic leadership and incredible work ethic, along with the dynamic leadership of a best-in-class team, which he assembled, has led Peerless-AV to the forefront of the AV businesses.

John Potts

Global President & CEO of Peerless-AV

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