Ethical Sales: Chapter 1 - Respect, Authenticity, Pace

Ethical Sales: Chapter 1 - Respect, Authenticity, Pace

Welcome to Chapter 1 of my Sales Communication Series which helps you in painting a picture about the whole psycholgical aspects in transactional conversations. In this part, we're focusing on how sales communication is not just about talking to a customer. It's about understanding their needs, building a connection, and gaining their trust. This chapter will explore two important factors: understanding the customer's pace and being authentic.

In a few seconds you might think “wow, this is some strange first example to kick such a series off with” and I agree with you here. But it shows that sales is the center piece in any business and even while other people are griving or a in pretty bad situation, conversations about making an financial transaction are present.

So see this paragraph as an unoffical, Aspect Zero: Be confindent! :)

Don’t be shy talking about money, but don’t make it the sole reason while talking with humans. Be honest, be transparent, don’t hold information back because you think this might be inappropriate to mention. Success hinges on understanding the contextual spectrum and adapting communication accordingly. Be aware of your position and messaging approach.

With this fundamental thing in mind, let’s just start :)

Aspect 1: Respecting the Lead's Decision

In the sales landscape, it can be easy to overlook that respecting the customer's decision—regardless of what it is—should always be a priority. This becomes particularly challenging in sensitive industries where decisions carry significant emotional weight, such as funeral services. However, it is precisely in these contexts where respecting the lead's decision becomes crucial.

Consider a scenario where you're interacting with a funeral service that offers various memorial options. You and your family are in the midst of the painful process of planning a funeral for a loved one. After discussions with the funeral director, you decide on a simple, private ceremony as opposed to a larger, more expensive service.

Yes, even in such an emotionally charged context, the sales aspect is present. But it's the way the funeral director handles your decision that leaves a lasting impression. They don't try to persuade you to opt for the more expensive package or emphasize the 'benefits' of a larger service. Instead, they respect your decision, expressing understanding and providing support in planning the ceremony as per your wishes.

In the end, you appreciate this considerate approach. The funeral director's respect for your decision, despite it resulting in a less profitable outcome for them, deepens your trust in the service. When faced with friends or family who need funeral services, you remember this interaction and recommend this company for their respectful handling of such sensitive decisions.

Remember, respecting the lead's decision is about more than just maintaining a positive relationship. It's about honoring the customer's autonomy, understanding their unique needs and circumstances, and providing them with the support they need to make the best decision for themselves. And often, it's this respect that cultivates enduring relationships and drives future referrals.

Key actions:

  • Always respect the customer's decision, no matter what it is.
  • Be particularly careful in industries where decisions carry significant emotional weight.
  • Show understanding and support for the customer's decisions, even if they lead to less profitable outcomes.
  • Honor the customer's autonomy and provide the support they need—this can foster enduring relationships and drive future referrals.

Aspect 2: The Power of Authenticity

Authenticity is a pillar of trust in any form of communication, and sales are no exception. Authenticity is not about putting on a façade to please the customer; it's about being genuine, showcasing your expertise, and building a relationship rooted in trust. It's about understanding the customer's needs and showing that you're there to help, not just to sell.

Consider a scenario where you're buying a guitar for the first time. You walk into a music store and are greeted by a salesperson. This is where the salesperson's authenticity comes into play.

They don't direct you towards the most expensive guitars, aiming to close a quick sale. Instead, they initiate a conversation about your musical interests, your experience level, and what you're seeking in a guitar. They guide you through the process, sharing their knowledge and passion for music.

Moreover, they might pick up a guitar and play it, demonstrating the unique sound and feel of the instrument. They encourage you to try different guitars, to strum the strings, and feel the music for yourself.

In this way, they're not just selling a product. They're sharing a love of music, helping you to find your connection to the instrument that best suits you. Their genuine interest in your musical journey, expertise, and eagerness to assist you in finding the right fit build trust and credibility. This authenticity not only enriches the sales process for you, the customer, but also enhances the likelihood of you making a purchase and returning in the future. It is a prime example of why authenticity is so crucial in sales communication.

Key actions:

  • Be genuine and showcase your expertise—don't put on a façade.
  • Understand the customer's needs and show that you're there to help, not just to sell.
  • Share your passion for the product and help the customer connect with it.
  • Remember: Authenticity enhances the sales process, makes it more enjoyable for the customer, and can lead to future purchases.

Aspect 3: Understanding to the Customer's Pace

One of the prevalent challenges in sales involves aligning with the customer's pace. Salespeople often find themselves wedged between the urgency to close a deal and the necessity of giving the customer ample space to make an informed decision. Striking a balance between these opposing forces is a delicate act, necessitating a profound understanding of the customer's needs, decision-making process, and timeline.

Take the process of buying a kitchen, for example. This significant investment, a decision that one will live with for years, is not to be rushed or taken lightly. Customers need time to explore different options, measure, plan, and envision their dream kitchen. They may have questions, doubts, and may require multiple discussions before they're ready to make a decision.

A successful kitchen salesperson appreciates this. They don't pressure you to buy something right away, but instead help you through the process with understanding. They'll answer any questions you have and give you all the info you need so that you can make a decision that's right for you. They'll stay on top of things and keep in touch with more info if needed, but always respect how long it takes for you to decide.This approach underlines the importance of understanding and respecting the customer's pace in sales communication.

Key actions:

  • Balance your need to close a deal with the customer's need for time and space.
  • Understand the customer's needs, their decision-making process, and their timeline.
  • Provide the necessary information, answer questions, and respect the customer's pace.
  • Stay persistent, but avoid rushing the customer into making a decision.

In a nutshell:

When people are considering a purchase, they are influenced by an entire set of factors, some of which we've explored in this article. The principles we've discussed today—understanding the customer's pace, embodying authenticity, and respecting the lead's decision—all contribute to the trust signals that the buyer receives.

At an emotional level, every buyer is asking, "Will this transaction meet my expectations?" If the answer is "yes," it's likely because you, as a salesperson, have built enough trust. This trust not only transfers to the product or service you're offering but also enhances its value and desirability for the buyer.