5 Golden Rules of Selling

There are rules of selling you must follow to be truly successful in sales. A sales person must continually earn and maintain their integrity. In the world of selling, you reputation is everything since people aren't going to buy from you if they don't believe they can trust you. So, you must be careful to always demonstrate ethical behavior. 

By continually doing the right thing whether people are watching or not, is the true sign of a sales person with high standards and a high degree of character.

rules of selling

One of the worst things a sales person can do is talk negatively to a prospect about their competition.

Put yourself in the position of the prospect. You just met a sales person who is telling you about a great new product and during the conversation he makes a negative remark about his main competitor. How does that you make you feel?  If you're like most people, you think to yourself, "Wow, why is this guy telling me this? He obviously doesn't know me very well and has no idea whether I have an existing relationship with his competitor." 

Great sales people understand that speaking poorly about a competitor, or anyone else for that matter, is reckless. While you may think you are elevating yourself by talking down the competition, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you're doing the exact opposite because speaking bad about someone reflects even more poorly on you.

No one will trust you if they believe you have poor judgement, and no one will want to do business with you if they feel you are not trustworthy. The old saying "If you don't have something nice to say, then don't say anything at all." is great advice it comes to selling with integrity. 

"Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers."

- Seth Godin

It's also true, "You only have one chance to a make a great first impression."  Don't blow it by exhibiting poor judgement, which can also occur if your share confidential or inappropriate information with a prospective client. 

For example, how many times have you heard someone say something to the effect of, "I'm not supposed to share this, but for you I'll make an exception." or "This is totally confidential so please don't share with this with anyone."? While the intent may be to make the person feel special, trusted or even lucky, the message can be received quite differently. 

These are examples of people actually telling you that they lack ethical standards. Don't let this happen to you. Focus instead on the following rules of selling that will help to ensure you are perceived as a person of high integrity and moral character. 

5 Golden Rules of Selling

Rules of Selling #1 - Maintain Integrity and Honesty

In addition to never talking down the competition or sharing inappropriate information, it must be said that a sales person should never, ever lie. No matter what the situation, lying only comes back to haunt you in the long run. Your word is the only thing that can never be taken from you – only YOU can choose to diminish or destroy it, and once your word is tarnished it can take a long time to win back the trust and loyalty that is lost.

Make your word sacred, and others will respect you for it. This means that sometimes you won't sell a product to someone if you believe it's not in their best interest. As a result, people will learn to trust and respect you. They will naturally refer business your way when they know you are honest and operate with integrity.

Rules of Selling #2 - Believe In Your Product

If you don’t believe in your product, you shouldn’t sell it – doing so would simply be unethical. Let’s face it, life’s too short to go home every night knowing that you sold something that you wouldn’t find value in yourself.

In order to believe in your product whole-heartedly, it's important that you take the time upfront to ensure the quality of your product. To the extent possible, be sure your product is unique from competing products. If you're selling a common product, where there is little to no differentiation from what others are selling, then YOU need to be that X-factor that makes the buying process special or unique. This is accomplished by delivering a service experience that is unmatched in the marketplace. 

On the other hand, if your product is inferior, it's impossible to sell it with a clear conscience. Don't allow yourself to sell inferior products, there are plenty of other people who will do that. You'd be better off creating a better product yourself or going to work for the company selling the superior product or service. 

Rules of Selling #3 - Believe In Your Employer

Work diligently for your employer. Whether you like them or not, they have taken a giant leap of faith by hiring you. They have placed their trust in you by bringing you onto their team. In some cases, they may be risking the success of their business by putting you in charge of sales production.

Always serve your employer well. Work hard to show that you appreciate the opportunity they’ve provided to you. Keep in mind that is isn’t easy being the boss. Do your utmost to make your supervisor’s life easier, and no doubt he/she will make life easier for you. 

You owe it to any employer to work hard and earn what they are paying you. If you can't do that, then you owe it to them (and to yourself) to quit. Leaving a role you are unhappy in makes way from someone more eager to come in and help the company be successful  It also allows you the opportunity to move on and find happiness elsewhere. 

"How you sell matters. What your process is matters. But how your customers feel when they engage with you matters more."

- TIffani Bova

Rules of Selling #4 - Believe In and Invest In Yourself

In life and in business you are either growing, or you're dying. Think about it, if you aren't growing but your best competitor is, then you will fast become obsolete. 

To avoid being outperformed, you must continually learn and grow your skillset. Not only is this imperative from a competitive viewpoint, it's critical toward fueling your ambition for becoming successful.  

Invest time and money each year to remain informed and relevant. Self-esteem improves as new skills and abilities are mastered. Your efforts for self improvement will not go unnoticed by your employer and others, and may be just what triggers a new and exciting career opportunity.

In fact, some opportunities will never be available unless you start to prepare yourself for them now. So, keep learning and growing so that when a new opportunity comes your way you'll be ready to seize it. 

Rules of Selling #5 - Believe in Working Hard

No one has ever become successful by waiting for their ship to come in. To achieve success you have to work hard for it, and if you work hard enough and smart enough – success will most certainly find you.

When you work hard you know it; you feel it, and it gives you strength and confidence in your ability to do whatever is necessary to be successful.  When you demonstrate working hard to others, you can inspire them to raise their level of contribution and multiply results for your team exponentially. 

So, when that next opportunity for advancement opens up, who do you think the employer is going to look to first to fill the role? Probably the person who has clearly demonstrated how to get things done and inspires others to do that same. Make sure that someone is you. 

We hope you’ll live by these 5 Golden Rules of Selling. 

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