Let’s face it, sales gets a lot of negative publicity, even just the word Salesperson may conjure up images of an old-school 80's-style car salesman with slick back hair, and questionable morals. This is often for good reason, as much of what is taught by traditional sales coaches is outdated, boiler room tactics that can be reduced to psychological manipulation, leading customers and clients frustrated (often even after purchasing).
However, as someone who has closed dozens of multi-million-pound deals utilising an ethical selling framework, I can confidently say it doesn’t have to be this way. Sales, when done correctly, can be a wonderful art form, leaving everyone satisfied and with a smile on their face at the end of what was a fun and productive conversation.
This article hopes to introduce you to the wonderful world of ethical selling. As well as sharing some top tips, I’ll explain how you can get started on this journey towards landing your dream clients while ensuring that both you and your clients remain happy throughout.
Standing in contrast to traditional sales tactics, ethical selling is the process of using a moral sales framework to achieve your desired outcomes. It is highly effective, often persuasive, but never crosses the border towards manipulation.
Let’s break that down a little further.
To some, the phrase “ethical sales” may sound like an oxymoron. This stems from a fundamental misunderstanding as to what sales really is. Some consider sales to be convincing someone to purchase something that they may not have otherwise purchased. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sales is really about uncovering the core issues an individual is facing and presenting the most appropriate solution(s) to their problems. In sales speak, these are called “pain points”.
What do you do if your customer or client doesn’t have a problem you can solve?
This is the fundamental decision underpinning ethical sales. While it may sound tempting to shoot for option A, after all, you have bills to pay, the correct option is in fact option B. We will touch on why later.
At this point, it may help to define the alternative. I.e. What are these traditional, pushy sales tactics we are opposed to?
If nothing else, it will help you spot when someone is trying to use these tactics on you, you’ll be surprised how often this happens.
These tactics were excellently explained by entrepreneur Mike Winnet in his video The Contrepreneur Formula Exposed, which include:
Some other tactics to look out for include:
While many are, not all of the above are inherently bad. For example, if you are really limited in your supply of a product or service, it might be wise to let your potential customers know so they don’t miss out. However, what Mike is referring to here is people that are claiming there is only a limited supply of digital products, which really doesn’t make sense.
Likewise, deals and discounts are a good way of generating extra sales. But if your product or service is never sold at your stated retail price and you never intend to sell it at that retail price, you are being disingenuous.
Some of these tactics were very effective pre-internet and have subsequently been passed down from sales trainers to the next generation.
However, fortunately for everyone, a gradual shift is occurring in the way sales is being conducted… Let’s discuss why.
Why Use Ethical Selling?
The first and perhaps biggest benefit to ethical sales is that it simply feels good for all involved. You’ll be building deep and meaningful relationships with your ideal clients. Sales calls will become something you look forward to, rather than something that you dread.
You’ll also make more money with ethical sales. Take Isaac, who went from sporadic revenue to his first $10k month after implementing the ethical selling framework.
You won’t only benefit from a direct increase in sales either. You’ll be building a client base of raving fans. This means more referrals, recommendations and repeat business.
The opposite is true for unethical sales practices. Remember when I said these methods worked well pre-internet? This is because reputation can be lost a lot quicker with the increase in information speed, social networks and review sites. It’s been claimed that it takes 40 positive interactions with your brand to make up for 1 negative interaction. There simply isn’t room for pushy sales in today’s connected world.
Who is Ethical Selling Most Useful for?
Of course, I truly believe ethical selling is beneficial for all businesses. That said, there are some businesses that can really get the most out of it.
Ethical sales is especially effective with low volume, high margin service businesses that live and die by their reputation. It’s for this reason I’ve chosen to target my ethical sales programme towards coaches and consultants.
This is primarily because, as a coach or consultant, you are a specialist in your chosen field. No one has taught you how to do sales and if they have, the odds are you’ve been taught the antiquated model that so many sales coaches insist on.
This means that when you approach clients, you either don’t know what to say or if you do, you have that knot in your stomach before every conversation. Worse yet, you may not be 100% sure how to even find your target clients in the first place.
I cover all this and more in my 8 Week Calls to Clients Sales Lab. This isn’t a cookie cutter online course. This is a 1 on 1 programme designed to put in place an ethical sales framework and systems tailored to support the growth of your business.
If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, I would be happy to have a free, no obligation, strategy session with you to help map out your plan of action. If you’re not quite ready for the programme or you won’t get massive value from it, I will of course choose option B.
Whatever route you take, I hope this has served as an eye-opening introduction into the world of ethical selling and I wish you the best of luck with your journey!