All of these terms are on the tip of virtually every seller’s tongue. We sellers talk about them, we proclaim we exhibit them in our personal and professional life, and we bombard our prospects and clients with the claim that we epitomize them and they can, thus, trust us without reserve.
To a great extent prospects have heard these claims so often and so loudly that the integrity and ethics of salespeople are a running joke. For many as soon as a seller says they can be trusted the prospect expects to get screwed.
To top it off many sellers work for companies that preach integrity and ethics and then turn around and practice the worst possible business practices.
Many sellers are working hard to be the ethical, disciplined seller they claim to be.
Nevertheless, the question can legitimately be asked if it is possible to sell with integrity. Can we as sellers be principled and succeed or is selling by its very nature an endeavor that demands a bit of larceny, manipulation and deception?
David Tovey has addressed the issue in Principled Selling: How to win more business without selling your soul (Kogan Page: 2012).
Tovey argues that it is in fact possible—and not only possible but profitable—to with integrity than to sell using manipulation, deception, or by stretching the truth and trying to be all things to all people.
Principled Selling sets forth a comprehensive look at the sales process—both how it has been practiced in the past and how it should be practiced in today’s rapidly changing sales environment.
The heart of Principled Selling is the five principles of selling:
Principle 1: selling is about motivation not manipulation
Principle 2: profitable relationships require investment
Principle 3: there must be congruency throughout the business development process
Principle 4: long-term relationships depend on being authentic
Principle 5: being human gets results
From those five principles Tovey constructs a process and shows in detail how to find and attract prospects and then turn them into clients.
Unlike many books that start out and stay in the ivory tower of sales theory, Principled Selling gets down to the real world through the use of case studies and fleshing out the skills and attitudes necessary to successfully sell with full integrity.
If you’re struggling with how to become a fully transparent and ethical seller or if you’d simply like to learn more trust based skills, pick up a copy of Principled Selling—you really can sell more without selling your soul.