Richard Forrest talks ethics in sales in our Sales Experts interview, hosted by John Golden. Ethics in sales has been a big discussion in the business world. Many people don’t think of salespeople as honest and ethical. The general public often typecasts them as slippery people to be wary of. Moral salespeople are more common than the stereotype suggests, and for a significant reason. Ethics is a cornerstone of selling better and creating closer relationships with prospective clients.
In this expert sales interview, learn about:
- How Ethical relationships positively influence sales
- How to prepare questions to build rapport
- Why ethical salesmanship is beneficial
Sales Ethics and Relationships
Being ethical in sales is crucial to positive relationships with clients. Ethical behavior and honest discussions are all essential parts of a long-term relationship with the client. No sales deals will ever go 100% smoothly. There are bumps in the road that will be difficult to overcome if rapport isn’t already developed with the client. You will end up with a client who will be unhappy. They might feel as if they were taken advantage of. Instead, having honesty and integrity creates excellent client relationships. When difficulties come up in the sales process, having that relationship is extremely beneficial. It will ensure that the client knows the issues are going to be resolved by the salesperson.
Ethical Question Asking
“The approach that I focus on when I’m selling is asking really good questions to the customer. This helps me find out exactly what they need. Don’t overcomplicate, just figure out exactly what they’re looking for,” said Forrest. It’s likely that your product or service can do many things, and solve many different problems. All of these capabilities are not applicable to all of your clients, however. Instead, ask the client specific questions help you pitch directly to what their needs are. By understanding the questions you are asking the client, you are getting to know the client’s perspective. Not only will you build a great rapport, but additionally, the client will trust you more. This ethical questioning leads to better rapport, which leads to more sales.
Building Trust in Sales
Building trust on true premises is a vital part of ethical salesmanship. Doing right by the person you’re talking to, be it the PA or the potential client, shows honesty and dignity. If you are honest with what you’re doing and what you’re selling, there are no tricks involved. “They can choose you with their eyes open,” said Forrest.
Forrest also suggests ensuring accurate promises. Most salespeople are optimistic by nature. They’re eager to try and make their product work for the customer. Often this is not with evil intent, or to try and sell an unnecessary product. Instead, salespeople do it out of enthusiasm and genuine excitement about what they’re selling. “It’s not about the bonus check at the end of the month,” said Forrest. “It’s about doing the right thing by the customer, and the company, and the operations team. They are going to have to deliver on what you’ve sold.”
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.