Last Update: May 20, 2015
The world of sales can be brutal and unforgiving at times. The desire to hit your company’s revenue goals can add a great deal of stress to your life. Unfortunately, this stress and fear of failure can lead to unethical decisions in making a sale.
That drive and determination can quickly transform into desperation. When sales are made in this context, you are not respecting yourself or your clients.
What is an Unethical Sale?
Many people will debate this very question and come to the conclusion that since the customer agreed to the sale, it’s ethical. That thinking is false. Again, when you are having trouble meeting your sales goals in business, it’s easy to think that you have to push, and possibly shade, an idea so more people buy. You think, “I need to do whatever I can to get the person to say yes.” That is exactly the wrong viewpoint in approaching a potential sale, and it neglects the needs of your customer.
Here are two examples of unethical sales practices:
- Playing upon what a person doesn’t have, or is unable to do. Don’t take advantage of people’s problems and persuade them to buy things they don’t need. Instead of helping the customer, some businesses would rather help themselves. Remember, a customer is not a mere stepping stone to a sales goal.
- Over-promising to nab an unsuspecting customer. If you can’t deliver on a promise, don’t make it. It will only hurt your credibility and customer loyalty if you rely upon promising the world to a customer. Reflect on your own motivation. If the foundation of your drive is “I need money,” then your motivation is in conflict with ethical sales strategies.
Whenever a basic human need like money is scarce, you have the potential of throwing your values out the window in order to get what you need to survive.
Ethical Sales Practices
Sales are based on helping someone. Sales are a result of approaching a situation and asking, “How can I help this person?” Following this initial question, you can assess if that potential customer really needs your help and, if so, present how you can help the customer.
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