One of the most daunting things about sales and marketing especially after so many years is that many get into the field without study. I believe that selling and marketing are professions just like any other and there should be a good amount of study by any and all involved.
This is not to say that study is required but having good foundational skills provides better methods of creating customer-centered relationships. And, good skills assist those providing services to treat customers in an ethical manner.
Ethics are important because customers invest in those they trust. Without trust there is no relationship and there are no sales. With so much competition and so many distracted customers, sellers today must ensure that they not only sell right but also sell candidly.
So if you are uncertain if your team is not selling ethically review the following list to see if your agents are behaving this way:
- Selling services or products that are not currently on the truck.
- Making false promises on delivery dates and service times.
- Stating that they are accessible and not returning voice or emails.
- Selling services that people do not need such as extended warranties and other such non-essentials.
- Altering fees that were promised in original proposals or contracts.
- Exaggerating information.
- Withholding important information.
- Talking ill about competitors and competitive practices.
- Passing blame on other departments or environmental issues.
10. Falsify case study and client testimonials.
11. Making false claims on product and service features.
12. Not working with other areas of the firm to ensure delivery and receipt of services.
13. Coercing the sale by lying about inventories – attempting the supply and demand close.
14. Bribing clients with excessive royalties and other inducements.
If such behavior is in your organization you might need to provide strict policies and practices such as a code of ethics or customer focus program. Allowing such behavior to continue is not only avoiding conflict and confrontation but dismissive or your most important asset – the customer! After all who pays, the salaries, the utilities, the lease, the product development, etc?
© 2011. Drew Stevens PhD. All rights reserved.