You Play an Ethical Game of Selling? If Not, What Game ARE You Playing?
People are always observing you and determining if they want to
do business with you. Do you pay attention to how ethical your business
practices are? Do you set high ethical selling standards for yourself?
Do you assess your level of ethics on a regular basis? Do you leverage
your honesty as a business advantage? As you go through your selling
day, consider these five critical quotations and questions about
ethics and honesty.
Do You Play an Ethical Game of Selling?
If Not, What Game ARE You Playing?
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
The tennis player volunteers to the opponent that
she reached over the net to contact the ball. She loses the point.
The golfer calls a penalty stroke against himself for moving the
ball. In both these cases, there may be no officials, no spectators.
Just the two opponents. No one would know if there was some subtle
cheating that took place. No one? You would know if you were the
A golfer is asked if there is a good way to take strokes off his
score. He says, "Use an eraser". Everyone in the foursome laughs.
Yet people are always observing you and determining if they want
to do business with you. Do you pay attention to how ethical your
business practices are? Is honesty important to you? This ethical
concern and honesty has to come from inside you, from within your
very fiber as a human being. It's called having character and integrity.
As you go through your selling day, consider these five quotations
and questions about ethics and honesty:
1. "What is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral
is what you feel bad after." --Ernest Hemingway
Do you believe that? Can it be that simple? Do you know people who
sell that way? Are they respected? How do you define morality and
ethics in your selling?
2. "You must regulate your life by the standards you admire when
you are at your best." --John M. Thomas
Do you challenge yourself ethically? Do you set high ethical selling
standards for yourself? Do you assess your selling behavior from
an ethical standpoint on a regular basis?
3. "There is no well-defined boundary between honesty and dishonesty.
The frontiers of one blend with the outside limits of the other,
and he who attempts to tread this dangerous ground may be sometimes
in one domain and sometimes in the other." --O. Henry
Do you take time to think before treading on dangerous ground that
might be considered unethical? Do you know what the people you deal
with consider to be solid ethical behavior? Do you consider in advance
the reactions of people in your business world who would be perceiving
your behavior to be borderline unethical?
4. "I consider the most enviable of titles the character of an
honest man." --George Washington
Do your clients take you at your word? How important is it to you
that others view you as a person of honor? Who in history do you
admire as a model of ethical behavior? Who currently do you hold
as an icon of ethical business conduct to help you guide your daily
5. "Every man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him.
But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his
neighbor. Then all goes well." --Emerson
Do you set the standards for ethical business dealings with your
clients, partners and associates? Does it matter to you how well
you treat people in business? Do you have the ethical good of the
business world and society in your heart as you go about your day?
My suggestions for becoming an ethical selling
- Be aware of yourself as an ethical selling professional.
- Know the code of ethics for your profession, if there is one.
- Know the standard ethical practices of your industry.
- Assess your level of ethics on a regular basis.
- Leverage your honesty as a business advantage.
- Praise others for their integrity in selling.
- Seek role models in ethical selling.
- Become a role model of ethical selling.
- Make the world a better place ethically because you were in
To learn more about how sales coaching can help you become a better,
more confident sales professional, visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the
Mental Game Coach at www.mentalgamecoach.com/Services/SalesCoaching.html.
Copyright © 2011-
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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