An Integrity Based Business
inDecember 13, 2012 - 5:51am
With a suffering economy almost worldwide, most of us have to spend more carefully and that affects everyone in the business world from the largest corporations to the very little guy like me. So how do we stay afloat with fewer sales and these ever increasing shipping charges that require us to lower an already low profit margin?
One key is building an Integrity Based Business. Integrity in sales may not always mean making an immediate sale but it certainly helps to keep your business growing and open. A wise friend once told me that “many things come and go but your integrity follows you everywhere.”
Being a good shop owner and seller involves following the Golden Rule. If I treat each customer at least as well as I want to be treated, not only is my conscience clear and I can sleep at night, but I am building my business one happy customer at a time. Will I be able to please everyone? Certainly not. Will I make mistakes? Absolutely.
I am human. Most customers are forgiving of our humanness but not as likely to be forgiving (nor should they be) if there even appears to be deception involved.
Honesty and integrity begin at the initial step of photographing, editing, and listing. As shoppers most of us have purchased items that were misrepresented either by photo enhancements or the lack of correct information in the listing. If I feel lied to as a customer, I will not shop from that seller again. I certainly would not expect my customers to buy from me again if they feel I have intentionally misrepresented what I sell.
Sometimes opinions will differ. I for example might find that patina on a metal adds the aged look that I prefer whereas a customer might think it just makes the item less attractive. Because of our potential difference of opinion it is more beneficial to the customer for them to be made aware of the patina rather than just stating that the item is in “Beautiful Condition.” Honesty here may keep me from making that quick sale but intentional dishonesty and greed will eventually erode the very foundation of a business.
Integrity doesn’t stop with listing or even honest discussion about a particular item. Treating purchased items with respect by packaging them safely and securely is another very important step. Once a purchase is made, a customer has every right to receive the item they purchased in the same condition it was listed in. If I don’t give each item the packaging attention it needs, potentially a customer who is waiting excitedly for their purchase to arrive will be extremely disappointed by a damaged item.
Building anything lasting requires a good and strong foundation. Truly desiring to please our customers and giving them the best service that we can, should be the cornerstone of our shop’s foundation.
Written by Lisa Brightwell
Ruth's Redemptions Antiques & Collectibles on Ruby Lane