Each year, Gallup conducts a survey on “Honesty/Ethics in Professions.” Here are the most recent results. As we can see, professionals in the health care professions are considered the most honest and ethical by Americans. On the other hand, car and insurance salespeople, advertising practitioners, and stockbrokers are rated quite low on these attributes. 
 

 

So what can these marketing professionals do to improve their standing among the public?

Consider these observations from Drew Hendricks, writing for Inc.:

“Sales itself is a fact of life; there’s something to sell to someone who wants to buy it; and salespeople are going to exist. Sales organizations need to ‘make a stand for ethical selling. Make sure it’s in your culture and communicate the importance and responsibility your salespeople and sales leadership have to represent the career of professional selling.’ Why do companies get an unhealthy sales culture? They’re pushing quota over quality, over long-term annual recurring revenue, and threatening those that aren’t ‘performing’ without understanding performance over time is powerful.”

“The most powerful conclusion one can take from the idea of ethical sales is to stand by key points: (1) Make thoughtful, careful research of a customer before even approaching them. (2) As Thorniley suggests, use ‘connected products, supported by predictive customer service [to anticipate] customer needs.’ (3) Think of the sales pipeline not as a one-stop process ending in a sale, but one that continually boosts customer happiness. (4) Don’t focus on closing; focus on making a sale that leaves the customer exhilarated and excited to have paid you.”

 

Click the image to read more from Hendricks.

CREDIT: Getty Images

 

7 Replies to “Ethical Selling: Not Necessarily an Oxymoron”

  1. I think it is natural for people to have an avoidance to harm and pain. It is a matter of survival. There is no doubt that people trust healthcare workers more than the other on the list. (Please see comments on Evan’s ‘Consumer Trust’).

      1. Marketers want to sell their products, their brand, their ideas at “any cost” perhaps just to make the sale. People seem to know this and thus do not take what others [marketers] have to say without some skepticism and thus certain knowledge is impossible. “Respect is earned, Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned.” -Auliq Ice.

  2. The below comments from Drew Hendricks are playing out the trend and desire for bettering customer service and relationships.

    Think of the sales pipeline not as a one-stop process ending in a sale, but one that continually boosts customer happiness.
    Don’t focus on closing; focus on making a sale that leaves the customer exhilarated and excited to have paid you.

    Actions and things are not what are being remembered and thought about but what was going on during that time and who helped you to get there. In today’s world of increased online shopping and conducting transactions remotely when a person is sought out instead of or in addition to they are being looked upon as a human being with emotions – this is what needs to be realized and appreciated. The consumer next time can instead choose a cold unfeeling website if that is how they perceive they are being treated.

  3. I would be curious to see how the breakdown between different socioeconomic positions, male to female, and age may affect these results. Granted, I do agree with Daniel’s comments regarding marketers wanting to sell their products. However, considering the way younger generations (millennials) are conducting business and using technology to further careers and market, I wonder if their perspective is changed and would skew results.

  4. I think its the general perception of marketing and sales people that they want to sell their product or service and would paint a pretty picture to sell it even if the product or service is not worth it. As Nitsan mentioned , a lot of it is changing with technology where if you are smart enough to make your choice u can choose what stocks to invest in, or research on other people’s experience who bought similar kind of insurance.

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