I refused a high commission deal recently. Normally in business this would be a stupid move. Not in this case. Personally, I do not think there is anything particularly wrong with the company much less the people in the company. However, they do not sell something I would buy much less sell to someone else. If you are a business person you are a salesperson. How could you have a business if you are selling something you yourself would never buy? In this post I will illustrate the importance of business integrity.
Consumers Buy More From A Trusted Business/Product
As a consumer, would you put more money towards something you trust or something you would not trust? Some of you may say they would settle for the right price. In reality almost half of all consumers would not consider a service or product with only average reviews. Being trustworthy will not only justify the price of your service or product, but will earn you more customers.
Having standards ensures the quality of your sales. Keeping to those standards and maintaining quality illustrate the importance of business integrity.
Consumers Are More Likely To Buy From Sustainable Sources
I always buy coffee from sustainable sources. For some odd reason I like the idea of having Earth still around in the next few decades or couple millennia.
Many younger consumers claim they are willing to pay 50-100% more for sustainable products. Not only does being a sustainable business model enforce your business integrity, but it increases your appeal to the newer generations of consumers. It may be worth mentioning that younger customers are a very large demographic of potential customers. If you have a sustainable model, you have appeal to more than half of the potential customers you could have.
Consumers Will Call You Out On Your Hypocrisy
We are all hypocrites at one point in our lives. However, nothing puts so much egg on your face as when you go back on a cause you support or an idea you have. If you intend to become involved in finance your customers will notice. That is why I did not take the deal, I would have to sell a financial product that I do not support.
I saw an instance of this in a personal finance blog. This blogger recommended trying to avoid crippling mortgage debt. There was an ad for 3% down mortgages on that same post. Someone called that out in the comments and the blogger and the audience had a good laugh (it was not exactly the blogger’s fault).
Hypocrisy could put more egg in your face if you are more of a brick and mortar business too. Take Blizzard, a video game developer for instance. During the Hong Kong Protests just last year (I know it feels like so long ago) Blizzard supported the right of free speech several times. Then a player showed support for the protests, and suddenly Blizzard banned the player, and took back his prize money and titles.
There are many other instances and from many companies. Chances are I will have my share. But each time customers will at the very least question your integrity. You can expect your appeal to go down a little bit.
Your customers and clients understand the importance of business integrity, and so must you. Current generations care much more about ethics. And those who are not as willing to pay for ethics will care far more about buying from a trusted company and/or person. If you expect to form a business you need to promise integrity if you expect to make it.