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Why Ethical Behavior Training is Critical in Today’s Cleaning Marketplace

October 19, 2000
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Two powerful forces, one economic & one biological, are reaching critical mass, forming an exciting and dominating new trend as we enter this new millennium.

These combined forces are the reason that ethics and ethical business behaviors have become such a critical factor in the marketplace today for all businesses, but most especially for personal service businesses such as carpet and restoration cleaning services.

The first powerful force is “Economic Power.” Women have now become the dominant economic force in this country!

    • Women buy or influence the purchase of more than 80% of all consumer goods and services;

    • While women influence more than 80% of all the auto purchases, they actually buy 50% of all the cars sold in the U.S.;

    • Women make up 48% of all stock market investors, and own 53% of all stocks (the percentage is rising rapidly);

    • Women head up 40% of all households with assets of $600,000 or more;

    • Women start businesses today at twice the rate of men, (one every 60 seconds);

    • Women own one-third of all U.S. firms today (up 78% since 1987), and are projected to own 40% of all firms by 2005;

    • Women-owned businesses collectively employ more people than the Fortune 500 combined.

    The second powerful force that is having such an incredible impact on the marketplace as has merged with the “Economic Power,” is biological.

    It really should come as no surprise that women are different than men—very different!

    • Women hear, acquire, and use language differently. It’s a recognized matter of genetic imprinting;

    • Women see many shades of gray in any situation, while men see black and white, and an occasional shade of gray. This leads to greater compassion and greater interest by women in virtually all situations;

    • Women are more sensitive to higher and lower sound frequencies and nuisance noises in general than men;

    • Women are far more tuned to touch, smell, tone of voice, facial expressions as well as negligent behaviors than men are. As a result, most women (96%) never complain about bad service—they just never go back.

    What women want are relationships with persons and companies that care! The obvious question then is, “What is it that matters the most to women?”

    The answer? Everything matters! Marketing to women today isn’t just about value (price) anymore—it’s about values. If women believe that they share values with you and your company, they will remain loyal.

    Six Core Ethical Values

    This rapidly emerging market force that holds the key to your future looks for values based on:

    • Trustworthiness (honesty, integrity, reliability and loyalty);

    • Respect (courtesy, dignity and tolerance);

    • Responsibility (accountability for what we do and what we are);

    • Fairness (defined as impartiality, openness, equality and due process);

    • Caring (genuine concern with the welfare of others);

    • Citizenship (beyond basic respect for the law, to the protection of the environment by conserving and protecting our resources).


    “If you have to say what you are..."

    You never preach your ethics—you live them. Here is an easy way for you and your employees to measure your business ethics:

    • Ask yourself if what you are doing would make your mother proud?

    • Will you be able to sell your services to this customer again?

    • Is what you are doing in the best interest of your customer?

    When I concluded last month’s column, I cautioned you that teaching ethical behaviors was critical to your survival as a business. You don’t have to fear the big department store chains, or even your local carpet retailer with a cleaning division for that matter. The power to fear is the irresistible power of the combined forces of economics and biology that is changing forever the face of the U.S. economy and the political arena as we have known them.

    Information regarding this powerful trend was drawn from the new book by Faith Popcorn, EVE-olution – the Eight Truths of Marketing to Women.

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