Anyone who knows me well is aware of how picky I am about the products I buy, and how I feel our choices impact the world around us. Thus, many of my peers ask me for my recommendations for products, stores and providers on a regular basis.
I can give you ten reasons not to shop at Target off the top of my head, and I can give you all the ways Costco is a mixed bag of great employment practices and crappy lobbying choices, and I am happy to do it. I spend a great deal of time researching companies before I buy, and I am more then happy to save someone else time or let them know something they didn't previously about a company. I want my friends to make informed choices because even if they don't make the same choices I would, I know the world will be a better place because of these informed choices.
I also sell a few things.
When I recommend a product or service that I would benefit from financially, the response is not as enthusiastic and never as friendly. Because it is human nature to be more invested in something when you have the potential to personally benefit from it, because we all have been in more then one situation where someone has tried to sell us a product that we don't need or want, or even a product we want using a dishonest sales tactic.
I am not going to do that.
Part one of being an ethical salesman is being a ethical consumer. I am not going to recommend a product to a friend that doesn't align with my own morals and values and I am not going to recommended a service that someone doesn't need or a visit frequency that is more than, in my professional opinion, I think someone needs to get the result they want. Even when I could financially benefit from someone coming in more often. I will not recommend someone comes again if after an initial assessment I feel they will not get the result THEY want from me. As a massage therapist I understand some people just want to be touched and relax and I will not turn anyone away wanted that service but I will not give them a false impression that I can treat a condition I can not thus my clients make informed choices.
I recently started selling a product that as been under some controversy lately. I am not so loyal to this company that I will not jump ship if I discover they are not operating ethically. After a lot of research, I deduced that this company was the best in terms of sustainability and ethical practices. I buy the product for my own family and use it daily. I would recommend it to anyone. In fact, I have recommended it even knowing the person I was talking to would not be buying from me. I pledge to sell this product ethically. I won't recommended it when you don't need it, and I won't sell it to you under false pretenses.
I understand people’s hesitancy because I encounter situations where I am so turned off by a product I otherwise really enjoy I want to chuck in into the ally, light it on fire and run away screaming because, when I post a question in an online forum I shouldn't be bombarded with 50 responses promoting this product along with questionable claims.
When online or in person interactions feel akin to having a product held two inches in front of my face while being lectured to by my least favorite professor.
When I see posts promoting this product that has helped me mitigate symptoms but has not cured any illness I have experienced, with claims that it will protect your family from ebola or whatever the illness dujour is I get knots in my stomach. Fear based sales tactics for a product that may or may not solve a problem in the unlikely event it should arise are not cool.
I originally bought this product because a friend shared her experience with it. She shared how the product aligned with her values and has been able to back every claim she made with a source or a personal experience not a friend of a cousin who once met someone’s experience. I hope to do the same.
Friends, please share your experiences with products with me. Please share with me why and how you use your product. Please share with me how to came to your choice. Please share your business with me. Please show me what your making. I want to know. I want to support my friends but please do it in a way that is ethical. In the end it will be better for all of us.