Ethical behaviour is key to maintaining customer loyalty. In sales, it’s often hard to shift the focus from hitting short-term revenue goals, especially when there can be a great deal of expectation within the business to achieve them. However, taking your customer perspective can save you a lot of trouble and actually make reaching your revenue goals much easier.
Rather than struggling to increase profit no matter what, it’s much more useful to learn what could be undermining success. In sales, it’s often trying too hard to increase profit as and perhaps at the expense of meeting customer needs.
Customers can smell desperation! If your revenue is the only thing in your mind, you are far more likely to start making unethical decisions, such as making exaggerated promises or even trying to persuade people to buy something that they don’t need. Although some may be gullible enough to take the bait the first time – they definitely won’t be back after they realise you’ve abused their trust.
According to Help Scout, typical business hears complaints from only 4% of their dissatisfied customers, and around 90% of them simply abandon the idea of ever buying from you again*. This leaves sales people baffled, wondering why their revenue is suddenly rapidly decreasing.
The chances that your company will sell something to a loyal customer are up to 70%, while those of selling to a new prospect are not higher than 20%*. Evidently, gaining customers’ trust is imperative for a successful business.
So, what is ethical selling?
The first thing to have in mind is that whatever you are selling needs to help your customer. Don’t try to sell your product/service to everyone, but think of that ideal customer that actually needs it.
It’s all about solving their problems. If your product has made your customer’s life easier, in any aspect, they will subconsciously start trusting your brand. They will choose you over their competition, and they will recommend your company to their friends and family. That is why they say that a loyal customer is worth up to 10 times as their first purchase.
Always be clear and never lie to your customers. They are a person, just like you, and they know the difference between an honest proposal and a desperate attempt to dig into their pockets.
Never disappoint your customers or clients. Misrepresenting your product inevitably leads to it not fulfilling their expectations, and then the game is over.
Instead of speaking badly about your competition, concentrate on building your reputation by giving your customers what they need.
Resolve all issues quickly and never ignore customer complaints. There is a great chance that by doing so you’ll not only manage to keep your customer, but they will feel like they are very important to you (as they should be) and subconsciously become attached to your brand.
If your company concentrates on customer needs, instead of your revenue goals, eventually both will be met.
No matter whom you’re selling to: clients or other companies, you should always live up to excellent ethical standards. Ethical practices in sales are crucial for successful trading, regardless of how big the value of your sales or deals is.