Ethical selling builds trust, reputation and customer loyalty

Ethical selling builds trust, reputation and customer loyalty

This week, to mark Global Ethics Day, individuals, organisations and governments are being urged to take ethical action to identify and address some of the most critical issues facing society.

This is an appeal the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP) is delighted to support. Ethical selling is at the heart of our drive to develop skills, knowledge and trustworthy behaviour across the sales profession. This is not only the right thing to do, it’s also good for business because ethical selling builds trust, reputation and customer loyalty.

One trait that sellers and buyers have in common is that we are all consumers, and as consumers we want products and solutions we can trust. The rapid rise of companies like Trustpilot, Bazaarvoice and Checkatrade highlights our need to be sure, before we buy.

In business-to-business environments, this level of certainty has been almost impossible to attain - until now - because step by step the Institute of Sales Professionals is using professional registration and continuous development to make sure salespeople are not only equipped to be excellent business partners but to ensure their customers can have the confidence to trust them to do the right thing.

Our registration exam - which allows salespeople who pass to appear on our publicly searchable, professional register - is based on our Fair programme. Under the Fair framework, ISP members pledge to: Follow the rules; provide Appropriate solutions in the best interests of their customers, stakeholders and the organisations they work for; act with Integrity; and Raise the bar with continuing professional development.

Sales teams that pass our ethical registration exam are granted our coveted Investor in Sales award. To gain the award, a minimum of 75% will have passed the exam - though often the figure is much higher - and to pass, sellers need to score at least 85%.

This is just one element of our Fair programme. The Institute is also working with companies and organisations to test ethical leadership, to examine management behaviour, and to measure customers’ feedback about the sellers they have encountered.

Expert salespeople need to be informed and trustworthy business partners - not just sellers who are here today and gone tomorrow, out to make a quick buck before moving on. For this reason, we are committed to ethical behaviour year in, year out, because trust is crucial for all buyers.

To find out how our sales revolution can inspire your sellers and transform your business, please contact me at: andrew.hough@the-isp.org.


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