Look at the number of abominable Ponzi schemes that have come to light recently and you can’t be blamed for wondering if anyone can trust their personal financial advisor. The majority of advisors are ethical, trustworthy individuals with the best intentions, who maintain the best interests of their clients. But a few bad apples reinforce an age-old mistrust of salespeople because they dispense with ethical selling principles.
If we are to abolish selling’s negative reputation salespeople must, without exception, follow a code of ethics and behave with integrity.
There is power in practicing personal integrity.
Integrity and consistently ethical behaviour create trust and believability. Trust is one of the most valuable factors in successful selling. When customers trust you, they will share more confidential and relevant information, enabling you to make better recommendations.
Customers are less likely to demand evidence for your statements, which saves you time and extra work.
Integrity increases your confidence level.
You don’t have to look over your shoulder. You’re not wasting time and energy hiding secrets and worrying about getting caught.
Your integrity increases the customer’s confidence. Their decision to buy is easier and they will tend to make even bigger decisions quickly.
Ethical selling improves communications.
You deal openly and with transparency.
Because you act with integrity, you expect others to do the same and you will tend to get what you expect.
How do we work on our ethics? Almost everyone knows what is “right.” All of the major religious philosophies have similar principles and their core teachings provide valuable lessons in building and living with integrity.
Still, it’s important to crystallize your own ethical stance. Take time to think through the principles by which you intend to live your life. Someone once said, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Make decisions in advance about how you will act in given situations. If something is unethical, don’t do it.
Lessons to Learn
A few key individuals in the financial industry need to learn and adhere to the importance of ethical selling. If they had done so, perhaps their industry wouldn’t be in the mess it currently finds itself and billions of dollars that have disappeared would be where they rightfully belong – in their client’s accounts.
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