Every day people are bombarded with an overwhelming number of interactions from hundreds of brands, but those that stand out time and time again are the businesses with integrity.
Businesses with integrity demonstrate a set of highly sought-after values: trust, honesty, dependability, compassion and respect. And their customers love them for it.
The good news is, every business with integrity reaps 10X the reward for their efforts. They have a clearer voice, a strong reputation, and happy customers and employees. They also breathe a sense of pride in everything they do, which in turn makes their customers proud to be a part of their business.
Here are some tips on how to run your business with integrity:
(1) Provide quality products and services
If you wouldn't buy your own products and services, because they're not up to your standards, don't subject your clients or customers to them either. It's a fast way to lose integrity and trust, and will do huge damage to your reputation.
Instead, take the time to turn your products and services into ones you're proud of.
(2) Stay away from scammy sales tactics
Nobody holds any business with scammy sales tactics in high regards. Why? Because this approach has zero integrity.
Scammy sales tactics will lead to problems, unhappy clients and a brand ethos that is so far away from honesty you may as well be on the moon.
Instead, use reputable sales approaches combined with well-considered marketing strategies to attract customers and clients.
If you're not sure what path to take, look out for businesses who are marketing and selling in the way you appreciate, and model their approach.
(3) Keep your promises
You lose trust when you don't stand by your word; it's as simple as that.
As a rule of thumb; do what you say you'll do. If you don't think you can keep your promises, don't make them!
Your products and services also need to keep their promises. So don't oversell your offers, don't make exaggerated claims, and don't brush over anything less than ideal about your products and services when asked.
You'll garner more trust if you're honest about any weaknesses that could influence how your customers experience your products and services, which leads us nicely onto the next point ...
(4) Acknowledge and deal with mistakes
Despite the best intentions, sometimes you just can't keep your promises. When things go wrong, the best way to resolve issues is through honesty. Be honest about mistakes. Acknowledge them. And if necessary, explain what you've learned as a result and then implement the changes required to move forward positively.
This will reassure your customers that even if there's a problem, you will resolve it without laying blame on them, which will boost confidence and trust in your business. Customers who receive a positive outcome after a bad experience often turn into loyal fans and advocates.
(5) Listen to constructive criticism
To be able to acknowledge and deal with mistakes, you'll need to be comfortable with listening to constructive criticism and customer feedback.
Whatever you do, don't shoot the messenger.
If you're not sure how to handle an issue right away, acknowledge the critique and then take some time to look into it. Remember to check back in with the source of criticism to let them know what measures you have taken to fix the problem.
(6) Treat everyone with respect and fairness
A business with integrity treats everybody with respect and fairness, from their staff to their clients, suppliers and collaborators. So make it your mission to do the same.
(7) Let clients go when the time is right
In most coaching situations, there comes a time when a client's problems are solved, and it's time to let them go. Don't try to keep them hanging on longer for more fees.
In the same vein, some clients or customers can drain your resources and equilibrium. You'll damage your business by trying to hang onto them. Just let them go and get back to the people who appreciate you.
Do so respectfully and firmly, and your integrity will remain intact.
Running a business with integrity can seem like hard work, but it's a wonderful experience when you get the balance right.