Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of Wartburg College students about Professional Selling. Since we’re in the business of elevating the sales profession, I jumped at the opportunity.
During the presentation, one of the students – Nathan Welsch – asked about the ethical dilemmas that arise during the course of selling. Nathan’s question got me thinking about the ethics for the sales profession.
Sales professionals are in a unique position to influence the decisions of the people they meet. This skill, which sales trainers like those here at The Brooks Group help hone, can be used for good or bad.
There’s no question that the persuasive abilities of great salespeople can become manipulative. And that’s not good.
Other professions have developed “protections.” By way of example: > Doctors have the Hippocratic Oath. > Lawyers have the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. > Accountants have their Code of Ethics, too.
It’s about time to develop a Code of Sales Ethics. Here’s my first stab (of course I’m not saying that this blog post can compete with the Hippocratic Oath, but at least it’s a start)…
- I will always work for the best interests of my prospects and customers.
- I will always fulfill my obligations to my prospects, clients, and company.
- I will remain loyal to prospects and clients and never use what I learn from them to advantage their competitors.
- I will respect my profession, my product (or service), and my company.
- I will always perform my duties in a professional manner.
Sticking to these principles is simple when you or your sales reps are following a buyer-focused, consultative sales process such as IMPACT Selling.