Golden Rule of Sales: Treat Others How You Want to be Treated

illustration of salespeople using golden rule

The Golden Rule. This is the moral principle that teaches people to treat others as they would want to be treated. It has been taught by every civilization in the world for thousands of years.

But does it apply to the world of sales? Yes, but with a caveat.

Sales has been around just as long as the golden rule, and some may say that the latter came about because of the former. People have always been quick to criticize sales for its occasional pushy tactics, manipulation, and sense of dishonesty.

In 2019, Salesforce discovered that the golden rule was now the buyer’s new standard for interacting with salespeople. The customer’s basic request is stated as, “If you want my business, be trustworthy and deliver value without me asking for it—the same experience as when I’m buying for myself.

Old fashioned, quota-driven selling is not going to work anymore. Customers have been demanding an improved experience for years, and the time is now for you to exceed their expectations better than all competing salespeople.

Jack Welch once said, “If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to use the golden rule of sales as a competitive advantage to improve all customer experience metrics and close more deals.

What is the Golden Rule?

The golden rule is best known for its placement in the Bible’s seventh chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.

Most other religions, from Hinduism to Islam, also include a variation of this moral principle in their scriptures. It’s safe to say, then, that the golden rule is an absolute truth.

You can use the golden rule in many forms, but three stand out above the rest:

  1. Promoting positive behavior: By treating people in a positive way, such as offering help or an invitation to dinner, you’re also promoting the same behavior to be shown back to you. This is by far the easiest way to apply the golden rule—be good, get good.
  2. Preventing negative behavior: By not treating people in a negative way, such as gossiping or slandering, you’re also preventing the same behavior to be shown back to you. This is by far the hardest form of the golden rule, as peer pressure and groupthink can have a negative effect.
  3. Encouraging empathetic behavior: You don’t necessarily need to have interaction to practice this form of the golden rule. By simply having positive thoughts about another, wishing someone good fortune, or being compassionate to another’s troubles, you’re at the same time wishing your comrades to do the same.

Skeptical salespeople will rebut with, “If it works, don’t break it.” Pressure to hit quota and other top-down sales strategies sometimes fail to give the sales rep a choice in changing their approach to selling.

Good thing for you that we are part of the optimist crowd. Continue reading to learn how to apply the golden rule to sales.

photo of a salesman treating his customer kindly

The Golden Rule and Sales

Let’s rephrase the golden rule to fit the world of sales. “Sell to others however you would have them sell to you.

You see what we did there? We didn’t say ‘Sell to others whatever’, as in the product or service.

No, we’re referring to the golden selling behavior of salespeople. How do your buyers want you to engage with them by email, over the phone, or in person?

You can use the golden rule in many sales instances, but three stand out for improving the customer experience:

  1. Trusted advisor: Solutions don’t necessitate a purchase. Buyers know this, and the more often you recommend solutions to their problems without asking for anything in return, the more likely they are to buy from you when the time comes.
  2. Personalization: Customers don’t want templated emails, phone calls, or products. Your buyer deserves a personalized buying experience, because they know there’s an added value acquired that is unique to them when compared to other customers.
  3. Invested in their success: When quota is a salesperson’s number one priority, their time spent with customers greatly suffers. By doubling in-person sales engagement, buyers quickly get the impression that their success is priority one to the salesperson.

While there may be sales organizations out there whose strategy is contrary to these golden rules, salespeople can still take the lead by striking a balance between sales pressure and morale principles to prove out the potential to leadership.

The question is—will you take the reins?

Would you believe that you can schedule a demo on how to apply the golden rule to sales? You can schedule time on my calendar here.

photo of a salesman using technology with golden rule

Use Sales Technology to Automate the Golden Rule

Once the workday begins, it’s easy to lose track of time as well as worry about the pressures of sales quota and other performance metrics.

Good thing for the both of us that sales technology can not only eliminate some of those worries, but it can automate and optimize the application of the golden rule in your everyday selling activity.

  1. Intelligence centralization: Keeping track of every customer, let alone every lead, is one tall task. When sales intel is centralized in one location and accessible from anywhere, sales reps can personalize their in-person engagement in mere seconds, thereby predictably improving the customer experience.
  2. Data driven insights: While customers aren’t necessarily asking you to become a psychic, they are raising their standards to similar heights—and that’s okay! With data driven insights based on your customer’s propensity to buy, you’ll predictably reach out to your customers at the right time, every time.
  3. Collaboration: Customers still want you as the face of the relationship and transaction, but they’re also looking for your company as a whole to invest more in the experience. This is why sales is inviting and collaborating with marketing, customer service, and product management to improve CX.

Sales technology like Veloxy and others can automated centralization, data driven insights, and sales collaboration. If you’d like a demo of how you exercise the Golden Rules of Sales with your smartphone and Salesforce, reserve time on my calendar today!

Golden Rule Quotes to Inspire Salespeople

Plenty of successful salespeople have applied the Golden Rule to sales. Here are three quotes that will further your adoption of the golden rule in your everyday sales engagement:

  • Steve Lander: “The golden rule salesperson focuses on one thing: doing right by the client. This focus on the client’s needs supersedes the salesperson’s desire for income or ego gratification.
  • Tony Morris: “People buy from people… People buy from people like them. This reinforces my point, that people gravitate towards people like themselves and are more comfortable dealing with people that have very similar behavior traits as they do.
  • Brian Tracy: “Sell unto others as you would have them sell unto you. The successful sales professional uses the golden rule to sell with the same honesty, integrity, understanding, empathy, and thoughtfulness that they would like someone to use in selling to them.
salespeople celebrating golden rule revenue

Start Building More Loyal Customers Today!

Treating people with kindness, especially your leads and customers, is the quickest way to improve your pipeline and revenue.

It’s also a great step toward self-improvement as treating others how you want to be treated is at the core of fostering reciprocal relationships.

How have you applied the golden rule to your sales career? Let us know in the comments section of this blog post on LinkedIn.

Did you find this content helpful?

Thanks for your feedback! We would really appreciate your feedback.


Samir Majumdar

Samir Majumdar

Samir is the CEO and Co-founder of Veloxy. After spending 20+ years creating corporate systems, boosting revenue, and eliminating inefficiencies, Samir started Veloxy to help sales professionals shorten sales cycles, accelerate pipelines, and close more deals.

Sales Insight Webinars