Today’s consumers are more informed and discerning than ever before. As a result, your brand can no longer get away with selling anything and everything. Your customers expect more from you.
- What is Sales Ethics?
- Why is Sales Ethics Important?
- How to Develop a Solid Sales Ethics Strategy?
- The Importance of Transparency
- Don’t use misleading marketing practices
- Provide quality customer service
- Should you have an in-house Counsel`s office?
They want to know why they should buy your products over those of your competitors. To answer this question, you need to have a rock-solid sales ethics strategy in place.
And that’s where things get tricky for most businesses. After all, what exactly is sales ethics? Is it just the idea of being nice, helpful, and respectful to customers at all times?
Well, yes and no. It’s much more than that—it’s a code of conduct for how you sell your products or services to prospective customers.
What is Sales Ethics?
Sales ethics is a set of principles that guide how sales are conducted within your organization. It also refers to the degree to which your salespeople adhere to those principles.
The goal of sales ethics is twofold: On one hand, it aims to protect your company’s reputation. On the other, it helps to build customer loyalty.
Depending on your industry, there may be specific rules and regulations that dictate how you conduct your sales. If so, those are part of your sales ethics strategy.
Your sales ethics should extend to every customer-facing department in your company, including marketing, customer service, and account management.
Why is Sales Ethics Important?
Sales ethics is a critical part of any business. It not only helps you build trust with customers, but it also helps create a positive brand image.
When your customers feel like you’re treating them fairly and honestly, they’re more likely to recommend your brand to others. This can have a major impact on your business and brand image over the long term.
This is especially true in industries where repeat customer purchases are important. For example, the auto industry relies heavily on customer loyalty. If you’re selling cars, you want your customers to come back again in the future.
So, you want them to feel like they were treated fairly each and every time they buy a car from you. In other industries, sales ethics can be even more critical to business success.
For example, in healthcare, customer loyalty and trust are essential. When patients don’t feel like they can trust the healthcare providers they’re seeing, they’re less likely to follow their treatment regimens. This can have serious implications for public health.
How to Develop a Solid Sales Ethics Strategy?
For the most part, your sales ethics strategy should be built around the Golden Rule. In other words, you should be treating your customers the way you’d like to be treated.
Now, there are times when you might have to deviate from this rule, such as when a customer is trying to take advantage of you, or you have a legal reason for not making a certain sale.
But for the most part, it’s a good rule of thumb to go by. If your industry has specific sales ethics rules or regulations, make sure your sales team is well versed in them. You can also consider adding those rules to your company handbook.
The Importance of Transparency
Transparency is a crucial component of any solid sales ethics strategy. Let’s go back to the example of the car dealer. What would you think if that car dealer kept all the bad things about a car hidden from you?
What if they didn’t tell you about the car’s accident history, maintenance needs, or other potential problems? You’d probably feel like they were trying to scam you.
And, you’d probably never go back to that dealer again, let alone recommend the car brand to others. Instead, you want the car dealer to be upfront and honest about all the things that impact the car’s value.
You want them to tell you about the accident so you have the information you need to decide whether or not to buy the car.
Don’t use misleading marketing practices
When it comes to marketing, you want to be as upfront as possible. You don’t want to make any false claims about your products, and you don’t want to mislead your customers about the features and benefits of your products.
This applies to any and all marketing channels, including websites, social media channels, email marketing campaigns, and more.
If you’re promising certain benefits or features that your product doesn’t actually offer, you’re being misleading.
The FTC is cracking down on false marketing claims these days. So, you need to be especially careful. If you can’t make a specific promise or feature, simply avoid saying it outright.
Provide quality customer service
One of the most basic parts of any sales ethics strategy is providing quality customer service.
Whether a customer calls you on the phone or reaches out to you via email, you want to make sure you’re responding in a prompt and courteous way. If a customer has a complaint or problem, you want to address it as quickly as possible.
No matter what the problem is, your customer service representatives need to be helpful and polite. And, if you can fix the problem, you should do so as quickly as possible.
Should you have an in-house Counsel`s office?
In some industries, it’s common to have an in-house attorney. This person is responsible for making sure your sales team adheres to your sales ethics strategy.
For example, if one of your salespeople has a potential sale that might violate your sales ethics strategy, they’ll run the sale by the attorney first. However, not every industry has this kind of system in place.
In some cases, businesses have sales ethics policies in place but don’t have an in-house attorney to enforce them. If you have a sales ethics strategy in place, but you don’t have an attorney to enforce it, it’s time to hire one.
Sales ethics is more than just making sure your sales team is polite and helpful. It’s about making sure they’re following a specific set of rules that protects both your brand and your customers.
These rules vary from industry to industry, but they’re essential if you want to build long-lasting relationships with your customers.