The golden rule for every business man is this: 'Put yourself in your customer's place.'
Orison Swett Marden
I am still the Mad Scientist putting together the perfect salesperson. We have looked at matters of the heart and the mind. Next, I want to focus on how the best in the business treat people – their clients. In this regard,
The Golden Rule…Rules!
“Treat thy neighbor as thyself.”
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
“It’s about the mission…not the commission.”
The Golden Rule is about ethics. The moral compass that will guide how you engage the people you interact with. Much of the negative perception of sales is due to an absence of ethics. Following the Golden Rule is about character and connection. Let us review my top five. While there are only five, they are twice as important.
1. Integrity – One of the definitions of integrity is, “Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code”. Do you have a code of conduct beyond the one your company made you sign? There are so many levels of integrity but here are the ones the best salespeople exhibit without fail:
- The integrity of the product – Will it do everything you say it will do? If not, do you embellish to cover the weak spots or omit facts all together? Mistakes can happen, that is why there is Errors and Omissions Insurance. But you should never have a claim!
- The integrity of the process – Cutting corners to get the sale done is not the way to build a solid reputation and career in sales. Warren Buffet says, “It takes 20 years to build a good reputation, and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you will do things differently”.
- The integrity of how to treat people – How do you treat people who can buy? Thought so. What about those that you find out in the first five minutes, they cannot buy? You can tell a lot about how successful someone will be by how willing they are to help someone who is not able to help them.
2. Service Mindset – Ultimately, selling is service. It is not a “customer is always right” cowering down to get sales through patronizing head-nodding. It is about positioning yourself as the advocate for the client. Doing things that are in their best interest and honestly meeting their needs or desires in a spirit of excellence, professionalism and service.
3. Sincerity – Have you ever talked to a salesperson that was not sincere? What does that look like? Sound like? The best salespeople are authentic. They are not acting, putting on a sales “mask” or a masquerade. The passion for their product and the selling profession are contagious and cuts through any client skepticism, to create an atmosphere of receptivity.
4. Conscientious – The top achievers in sales have a high level of accountability for the outcome of a successful sale. When things do not go quite right, they do not engage in a blame game, but instead they begin seeking solutions and resolutions. They care about the customer and want what they sold to be what is delivered. They stay in contact with their client throughout the process, and beyond, because they are vested.
5. Caring – What makes you do more than you are paid to do? What makes you a stakeholder and not just a placeholder? The Power of Caring. Caring embeds “pure” motive into your actions. You do not have to be cajoled, convinced, or coerced to care.
If you care, you will call the client back.
If you care, you will prepare before the sales call.
if you care about their situation, you will do all you can to help them.
It is the most overused sales cliché known to man but darn it…it is true!
Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. Teddy Roosevelt
Remember Eddie Haskell from “Leave It to Beaver?” He was slick. In front of June and Ward Cleaver, he was the model citizen. Polite, well-mannered, and courteous. The moment they would leave the room…
“Shut up squirt!”
I know that people can fake these qualities and pretend to be ethical, but not for long. Beaver’s parents were never fooled. There is an expression,
“Game recognizes game.”
I know my ethics and my character. That gives me a divining rod of discernment to know the “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” But I can also discern when I hear someone say authentically and proudly,
“I am in sales, because I love helping people.”
That lets me know that in their lives,
The Golden Rule…Rules!