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?
“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.”
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