When training to become a medical practitioner in any field, every student is asked to swear the Hippocratic Oath. Here are the key bits:
- I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
- I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
- I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
- I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
- I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
- May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
It’s common sense of course, but vitally important. It entreats the Medical Practitioner to ‘rise above’ the mundane, and act with integrity and good faith in all matters.
In making a public declaration, they are making a strong statement to themselves and to the world that they espouse these values and are prepared to be held accountable to them. That’s why it’s such a strong tradition.
Because Doctors are in powerful positions of trust and they can use their positions to abuse the situation, to their short-term advantage (as we sometimes see in the news unfortunately), it’s vital that there’s a ‘universal principle’ to guide their behaviour and bind their actions.
Hence the need for the Hippocratic Oath.
In this article I’m suggesting that the same is true in the ‘sales’ process: the reputation and trust of the individual and/or organisation is of paramount importance for it to thrive in this hyper-connected and transparent world and for customers to truly benefit (and hence spread the word to ‘buy’ via reviews and reputation).
Perhaps anyone selling anything in any profession, in order to be called a ‘professional’, ought to swear ‘The Slow Sellers Oath’ and be proud to stick to it. Indeed, we teach this oath as a key part of the ‘Slow Selling’ process, and it is the main ingredient of membership of the ‘Slow Sellers Association’.
Here it is.
The Slow Seller’s Oath
- I will apply, for the benefit of the customer, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of overpromising and under delivery.
- I will remember that there is art to business as well as science, and that warmth, empathy, and trustworthiness will outweigh the sales or marketing technique over the long term.
- I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to recommend others when the skills of another are needed for a customer’s success.
- I will remember that I am not here to create a sales chart, or a short-term sale, but instead to be genuinely helpful to a human being, whose needs may affect many other factors in their life.
- I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings: I am hot here to ‘sell’, I am here to ‘add value’ in the strong and constant belief that, if I do this excellently, the sales will follow: not the other way round.
- I will seek and welcome genuine feedback and seek to find value in it to help me and my team continually improve, innovate and excel.
- May I always act so as to preserve the professionalism of my calling and may I long experience the joy of helping those who seek my help.