Do No Harm: Sales Mindset

Do No Harm Sales Mindset

Hi, it’s Ben Lai from Sales Ethos. Today’s topic for professional sales people is “Do no harm.” Do no harm is actually a term that comes from the medical profession. It’s what they ask medical students to promise before they even start studying the whole area of medicine. When the doctors and other medical professionals study medicine, they’re actually given a lot of power and responsibility.


They have to make this promise that they’re going to do no harm. That they’re going to only try to help people because of the amount of responsibility and power that they now possess. In the same way, sales professionals have an enormous amount of power. Where we get our power from is our ability to influence others. That comes with a huge responsibility.

You could certainly influence people to buy your products, but if they don’t need it and they’ve wasted their money with you, and they’ve made a loss, that’s a huge problem that you’re causing other people. Do no harm is a very important concepts for us to practice if we want to be ethical. I’m going to give you three tips on how to make sure that you are not doing harm to your clients.

Do No Harm Tip #1: Give Advice Carfully

The first area is to give advice very carefully. In our consultative sales process, we can give all sorts of tips and advice. One of the things that we are tempted to do is to sound confident in everything that we say. From that perspective, sometimes will give shaky advice that’s not based on any evidence or any real experience but we make it sound as though we are very sure that it’s going to get a certain result.

This would be doing a disservice to our clients, especially if they suffer the consequences of following that advice. From that perspective, give advice very carefully. If you’re not sure about anything, just say it up front. Say you’re not sure, let them know that you’re giving this advice, but you’re not going to guarantee the results. From that perspective, they’re still able to take the risks themselves if they want to, but at least you’ve done your job in terms of explaining the limitations and explaining the risks.

Do No Harm Tip #2: Persuade, Don’t Manipulate

The second thing that we can do to make sure we are doing no harm is to make sure that we are not manipulating people. The difference between manipulation and persuasion deserves a whole video on its own. But I think the primary difference between manipulation and persuasion is when we’re trying to, in a way, change the person’s decisions against their will.

There are unfortunately some people who are willing to use certain sales techniques to push a person into buying. This is mostly preying on the people who are not very strong with their mental resolve and they feel sheepish, they don’t want to say no, and the salesperson takes advantage of this. That is manipulation. On the other hand, persuasion is our ability to provide all of the most important information, and we spell out the consequences for decision A, decision B and decision C. Then we allow the person to make the decision on their own.

That’s the basic difference between manipulation and persuasion. We have to make sure that if we want to do no harm that we are persuading, not manipulating. Avoid using those techniques. There’s some NLP practices and techniques that will try to influence a person’s subconscious so that they’ll actually want to buy. I’m not a big fan of those sort of things. I don’t think it’s very ethical, but you be the judge and make sure that you practice only the things that sits well with your ethics.

Do No Harm Tip #3: Only Sell What People Need or Want

The final thing that we can do to make sure we’re not doing any harm, is not to sell things to people that they don’t need. If we find out in the consultative process, that your product is not a good fit for the client, then just don’t sell it. Think of it this way. We want to have win-win or no deal. It cannot be win lose and it cannot be lose win. Sayings like, that guy could sell ice to Eskimos is ridiculous unless the Eskimo had some specific purpose for that ice that was purer than the one that they already have. It’s a ridiculous saying on its own.


Make sure that you sell only the things that people actually need and will derive value from it. Do no harm. Give advice very carefully, and don’t manipulate them but instead persuade and finally don’t sell things that people don’t need. Be willing to walk away.

Complimentary Consultation

If you’re a sales manager or entrepreneur and you’re looking for ways to boost your sales, feel free to contact me on the details below for a complimentary consultation. My promise to you is that I will tell you, if I’m not able to help. My personal philosophy is to do no harm. I am personally willing to walk away from business if there is no value in it for my clients. If you liked this video, don’t forget to like and subscribe and remember that integrity plus skills equals success.

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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.

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