Some people say sales is all about finding someone to buy your products or services at your offered price and selling it to them no strings attached. Others say sales is really all about “controlled advantage taking”. Both of these groups would agree that the sales person should try to get the customer to buy at all costs for the sake of closing the deal; and that no improper ethical line is crossed as long as the customer gets your product or service after payment is made. I say ethical sales involves disclosing to the customer through a straight forward communication process the full details about buying your product or service and that the sale needs to have true value for the customer at a mutually agreed price. I believe sales people have a duty to make sure that customers understand what they are getting and that customers receive what they expect. My top 5 requirements in selling ethically include:
1. Organization – Make sure you have an organized system to track the sales process with each customer. This will reduce overall confusion or misunderstandings and help you be more efficient in connecting with customers and ultimately closing a sale.
2. Follow through – Make sure to follow through on every promise you make. The important part is the communication process. Make sure the customer understands all the details involved in the transaction and is informed in a timely manner throughout the process. As you receive relevant information, pass it on to the customer.
3. Keep your promises – You are only as good as the last promise you make. Follow up with customers when you say will. Always deliver more than you promise to deliver. Never promise anything you can’t deliver.
4. Put your proposal in writing – Even if you provide a sales proposal verbally, always follow up with an e-mail or written note outlining your proposal. If you can’t put it in writing you shouldn’t be saying it.
5. Follow up – Always send a thank you note or e-mail after a sale has closed letting them know that if they have any questions or concerns they can feel free to contact you. This step is the best way to obtain referrals and get feedback on where you need to improve in the sales process.
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