How to Ethically Sell an Inferior Product

Ben Lai

Transcript: Hey, it’s Ben Lai from Sales Ethos, thanks for joining us. Today I’m going to address the question “how to ethically sell an inferior product.” Now, this is going to sound completely contradictory to everything that I represent. Yet, I’ve been asked this question for several times over the last couple of weeks. And so I thought I’d share a couple of insights to help you along.

If you feel like you’re struggling with this issue, let’s just say your product is not competitive, you have an ethical and moral dilemma. On the one hand, you want to do what’s in the best interest for the client. On the other, you need to serve your company and you need to move product. That’s what you’re hired to do. And so how do you resolve this? I’m going to share with you three tips to help you with that.

How to ethically sell an inferior product tip #1:

Number one is to find any points of differentiation that you can. Every product, even commodities, have differentiation. I’ll give you my personal example. When I first went into the profession of selling, I was selling domain names. Now, domain names are what you type in to reach a website. Now, that’s the same no matter who you register it from. However, I had a bit of a dilemma. We were charging much more than what the competition were. Sometimes this was up to five times as much!

One of the things that I was taught at the beginning was that some people register their domain names with our company simply because they like the brand. So if you think about the other brands that are out on the market, they may charge a lot more for what seems to be the same product as others. But people like that, because of the association that they have with the brand. So sometimes you may need to rely on that sort of factor in order to differentiate your product.

How to ethically sell an inferior product tip #2:

Now, from personal perspective, and this brings me to point number two, is that you can bring differentiation to the product. So in that same scenario about the domain names, one of the ways that I used to help myself to resolve this moral dilemma was to give my clients my direct number. What I said to them was that when you’re buying a domain name with this company through me, you’re not just getting a domain name. You’re actually getting my consulting services as well. So I would provide advice in terms of how to go about building the website and to look at the marketing strategy.

Think about this in the market. If you went out and hired a business coach, or if you hired a website consultant, that could have easily cost $250 or more just for that service. So I was adding incredible amounts of value just from my personal expertise and my care factor. That is how I managed to sell domain names at a higher price than other people.

How to ethically sell an inferior product tip #3:

Now, the third option is the uncomfortable one. If you really don’t believe in the product that you are selling, then you may have to go and find another company or another product to work with. Because at the end of the day, you are going to have to sleep at night and feel comfortable with yourself. If day in day out, you’re selling something you don’t believe in, you’re not going to be very happy and neither are your clients. So it’s a difficult thing to say. But if you really can’t differentiate, then you just need to find another company or product to represent.

Conclusion: How to ethically sell an inferior product tip

So there you have it! Find differentiation in the product. Make yourself the differentiator. Finally, as of last resort, find another company or product to represent. That is how you can resolve this moral conflict of selling a supposedly “inferior” product to people. My name is Ben Lai from Sales Ethos, and remember that integrity plus skills equals success.

Articles related to “How to ethically sell an inferior product”:

How to Protect Your Business’ Reputation

What Does Sales Integrity Mean?

What Sales Integrity Means – Part 2

Complimentary Consult

Click here to request a complimentary sales consultation!

Sales Ethos is the only provider of sales training for introverts. We also provide sales coaching, sales process consulting, and sales training in Melbourne & Adelaide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock