My friend, John Smibert, wrote a great post, posing the question, “Do sellers have to have honesty, integrity, and transparency?“
Of course, we do! We have to establish trust with our customers: honesty, integrity and transparency are critical elements of this. What troubles me about John’s article is not the point of view he presents, I’m fully in support of it. What troubles me is the fact we have to pose this question, that we have to provoke people to think about this and remind ourselves how critical it is in our ability to engage and create value with our customers.
A small, but expanding, group has assembled to talk about and evangelize the Sellers Code Of Conduct. It disturbs me that we have to do this. Perhaps, I’m naive or an idealist, but I have always hoped these values are baked into the DNA of successful professional sellers.
One would think we already know that to achieve our personal success, we first have to have our customers achieve their goals.
One would think to get renewals and to grow our accounts, delivering on our commitments and serving our customers would be habit.
One would think the revulsion we experience with the junk that fills our emails, social, phone and text feeds would cause us to act differently in how we engage our customers.
One would think that as we see plummeting results from our volume/velocity outreach, we would reconsider and engage people in more impactful ways.
One would think that customers expressing their lack of trust and unwillingness to engage with sellers, we would reflect on what might be broken. If only to improve our ability to engage them more impactfully.
One would think we would be repulsed by the manipulative techniques, tricks, and tactics espoused by “experts.” Yet these are some of the most popular posts on LinkedIn.
We see too many bad behaviors, too frequently. Unfortunately, the discussion of the Sellers Code Of Conduct becomes important for us to talk about, to evangelize, to model in our own behaviors with customers and in social media.
I do continue to believe the majority of sellers do behave honestly, demonstrate integrity and transparency. Can we improve, of course. But, largely, I believe we want to do the right thing with our customers.
But we can no longer remain silent about this and it’s importance to the professional practice of selling.
We cannot permit the charlatans, who believe in scorched earth sales practices, to be “representative” of best seller practice.
We have to, in our practice of professional selling, demonstrate our caring for our customers success, recognizing that success becomes shared success.
We, cannot remain silent, but we must speak out about what it means to be a professional seller and our pride in being professional sellers.
Please join our group. Start writing, speaking out, demonstrating your commitment to honesty, integrity, transparency.