Let’s turn the table and look at selling and ethics from the customers’ perspective. Trust me, buyers know unethical behavior when they see it and they keep score.

What does unethical selling look like if you are the buyer?

• Misrepresenting the product’s specifications, warranty, or capabilities.
• Bashing the competition (warranted or not).
• Not listening to the needs or interests of the customer.
• Answering questions with BS (not knowing the answer but trying to fake it).
• Selling services or products that are not really needed by the customer.
• Lying by omission.
• Not following the chain of command for purchasing.
• Not accepting responsibility for problems; always offering excuses while blaming others for the problems.
• Not following through on commitments.
• General slippery behavior.

Conversely, what does ethical selling look like from the perspective of the buyer?

• Accurately describing the products specifications.
• Not speaking on behalf of the competition or trashing the competition.
• Listening carefully to the customer to determine exact wants and needs; after this is complete, the sales person can offer the right solution.
• If the sales person does not know the answer to a question, he or she will admit it and then go find the answer. No BS allowed.
• Selling only what the customer truly needs and no more.
• Telling the whole story.
• Taking proactive responsibility for mistakes or errors right away and telling the customer when mistakes or errors happen.
• Always following through on promises.

Customers know when you are ethical or not.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2006 All rights reserved.

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