I feel guilty eating too many Girl Scout Thin Mints.
Guilt is a helpful emotion to guide us to know when something is right or wrong. Often described as a “moral compass.” It’s an emotion that arises when we believe we’ve done something wrong.
Do you believe you are harming people by selling to them?
Can they get the product elsewhere, cheaper? Maybe it’s more convenient to buy from you.
Is it inferior to another version available elsewhere? Are you certain? If so, do you offer a better version, too? Or, maybe that’s not an option for your customer.
- Does the product/service not do what’s promised?
- Is the company (or you) lying about performance or outcome?
- Are people in danger or harm?
These are serious issues and it would seem to be more than guilt that you should worry about. If those things are true, stop selling and get out now. You should not have to compromise your integrity let alone do something immoral or illegal.
Zig Ziglar said, “With integrity, you have nothing to fear since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt.”
However, I’ve been in sales a long time and typically people who feel guilty are placing their…
perceptions of what should be… timing… ability to buy… need and interest in buying… personal limitations, etc. onto their customers.
This does a disservice to you and them.
What about “free-floating” or “toxic” guilt?
Not based on a specific instance but instead, a belief that you’re not a good person, perhaps not deserving, or somehow failed someone or will let someone else down.
It might be you have these feelings while selling because you don’t feel good about yourself in some way.
It’s tough to dig deep and find the answers to this.
As far as guilt and selling, my advice is this: ask questions.
Give people all the information you have. Make recommendations based on what they tell you they want and also suggest what they need… and then let go.
Let them decide, yes or no.
Should a server in a restaurant feel disgusted if someone orders the liver and onions for dinner or thrilled when a customer asks for the chicken? It has nothing to do with them.
That doesn’t mean, don’t care. That doesn’t mean, don’t do your best.
But your feelings about what other people decide, do, or spend have nothing to do with you. Recognize that selling is not about doing something to someone, it’s doing something for them.
Help them the best you can and feel good about that, not guilty.
P.S. Remember, most everything that you own (and love) you have because someone sold it to you. Even if you wanted it, they helped you get it. Sales makes the world go ‘round.
Comments? Please let me know your thoughts. And if you liked this post, please share! – AW
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