4 Places You May Be Out of Integrity in Your Business and Not Even Know itDec 16, 2022
As purpose-driven entrepreneurs, I think we can agree that integrity is important to our businesses – delivering what we say we will to our clients, showing up on time, acting in alignment with our values, etc.
Integrity builds trust with our audiences, and helps us make a bigger impact in the world. Without trust, you won’t be able to attract a loyal following and find people who are excited to work with you.
But, what I’ve discovered over the years, is that there are some gray areas in business where it’s possible to fall out of integrity and not even know it. I’ve been guilty of some of these in the past, and have seen several other coaches fall into these patterns as well.
So what are the “gray” areas when it comes to integrity? Let’s explore them now:
Discovery sessions are a common practice – and there is nothing wrong with them in theory. But, the thing that becomes problematic is when free discovery sessions are used to attract potential clients under the guise that they’re getting a free coaching session, when really, it’s just a sales call in disguise.
Let me be clear, there’s nothing wrong with sales calls. The problem arises when we aren’t up front about what the session is actually about. Not only is this sneaky and inauthentic, but it will also attract clients who are looking for a freebie and aren’t ready to invest in your services. If the purpose of the session is to talk about working together in the future, it’s best to be upfront that this is going to be a topic of discussion on the call.
When you offer discovery calls for free, it’s best to have an application set up so you can “weed-out” people who are not a good fit for your programs and services, and only meet with people who are genuinely the right fit to work with you – this is respectful of everyone’s time and energy!
Setting Limiters in Your Sales
“Limiters” refer to something that creates urgency – it encourages people to take immediate action in signing up for your program or course. Some examples are:
- Time limiters – This is when you advertise that an offer is only valid for a set amount of time.
- Space limiters – This is when you advertise that you only have a limited number of spaces available.
- A combination of time and space limiters – When the offer is only valid for a set number of people, within a set timeframe.
While limiters can be a great strategy for increasing sales, there are places where you can easily fall out of integrity through this practice.
One of the biggest places I see coaches fall out of integrity with limiters is making “exceptions” when they get more interest than anticipated. For example, in the name of making more money, it can be tempting to give a person the early bird savings after it expires or give 12 people the fast-action bonus when you said there were only 10 available.
The best way to stay in integrity with limiters is to keep your word. Because if you make exceptions for some people, it’s not fair to the people who took fast action to get the offer you presented as “limited.”
Making Too Many Compromises
Compromising can show up in many forms, but here are some of the biggest ways, I’ve compromised in my business, and fallen out of integrity because of it:
Changing Myself Because I Want Others to Like Me:
Being a business owner is not about getting everyone to like you – and this can be hard to live by! When we’re too focused on being liked or accepted by others, we can fall into the habit of not sharing our own truth in an effort to be more widely-liked.
Maybe you shy away from sharing a part of your life that’s integral to who you are.
Maybe you try to change your personality because you think you’ll be more accepted if you’re more outgoing, funny, spiritual, calming … (you fill in the adjective).
Or maybe you don’t share your opinion because you think you’ll be judged and lose sales.
Compromising on Price:
You may compromise on your prices because you think you’ll miss out on a sale if you don’t.
In my experience, every time a potential client has tried to negotiate on price, the client ends up not being a good fit anyway – in some cases they even end up being a nightmare client, nit-picking and complaining about everything along the way.
If there’s a client you really want to work with, and you can feel intuitively that they’ll be a great fit, but they just need a little help making it work financially, I recommend offering them a customized (more spread out) payment plan, but NOT lowering your price.
Compromising My Values:
When you compromise your values, you end up operating out of alignment and out of integrity.
This was huge for me when starting my business because I desperately wanted to be liked and would dwell on it for days if I received negative feedback (even in the smallest form).
This only led to a watered-down brand that resonated with NOBODY because I didn’t share anything that let my ideal audience really get to know who I was.
Being true to your values in business leads to a fulfilling, sustainable business and helps the right clients find you. More and more, clients want to do business with people who share similar values, so if you don’t share yours, you’ll leave potential clients guessing and this can diminish trust in your brand.
Not Living in Alignment With the Person You Claim to be
This can happen privately or publicly – where you aren’t portraying your true self online, or where the way you show up every day does not actively reflect the person you want to be.
Some examples may be:
- You say you’re a six-figure business coach but really you’ve made six-figures over the past three years rather than over the past one year. Most people would interpret “six-figure business coach” as making six-figures annually.
- You say that your business is environmentally-conscious, but in reality your practices are not because you are more focused on cutting costs than on protecting the environment.
- You tell yourself that making money in your business is your highest priority, but you don’t actively work on needle-moving activities.
- You value health, and in your mind you are healthy, vibrant, and strong, but in reality you spend your days eating unhealthy food, skipping self care and working yourself into the ground.
When we don’t act in alignment with the person we claim to be, we not only fall out of integrity, but we also aren’t able to show up in our true genius, as our best selves, for our clients.
It can be surprisingly easy to fall out of integrity and not even realize it. While we all want to be good, honest people, and there is definitely a gray area in how much to share with the world, we need to consider the ways we show up in the world, and how we portray ourselves to the world. The businesses that do show up truthful, honest, and transparent, are the ones that tend to grow the fastest because most people crave that integrity and realness. These businesses grow because they are able to build trust – which is absolutely key to building your audience.
Living and showing up in integrity is easier when you’re surrounded by a consistent community who gets to know you and your business, and who you meet with and share with regularly. In the Impact Tribe, you get access to a community of women on a similar path as you who are kind, thoughtful, and honest in their support for one another, and who go out of their way to help each other grow their businesses. Learn more and join us today at the link below – your community is here waiting for you!