By DR SIMON HOCKEN
Have you ever let your car insurance roll over and noticed it got dearer not cheaper? Noticed the way petrol prices never go down quite as much as the price of the oil used to make it? Are you still getting cold calls from India about PPI?
And have you noticed that the colder it gets in winter, the more it costs to heat your home? Or the way you can pay £250 for a London to Leeds single and not even get a seat…
Little wonder 40 per cent of us think British businesses aren’t ethical, and we think it’s getting worse.
Dentists are particularly vulnerable to this impression, as seen ad nauseum in recent press coverage about Cecil the lion and the Which? report. Articles like the one by metro journalist Lauren Rellis called 11 reasons you are absolutely right to be terrified of the dentist show you don’t even need facts to report negatively about dentistry.
You might have thought, given Rellis’s own health problems (hypermobility and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) that she might have sensed the ethical problem with her piece.
And her subsequent conduct was unfortunate once the inevitable backlash came. A dentist who messaged Rellis on Twitter about the article was immediately blocked from her account. She then removed her byline from the story, deleted her Twitter post about it and shut her account down completely for 11 days.
You could argue there’s a business imperative for online bloggers to behave in ethically dubious ways because their readers are more likely to click on that kind of content. And there’s a logic to the way big energy suppliers, banks and pension funds push their luck – they only risk a slap on the wrist by anaemic regulators. But I don’t need to tell you the case for ethical selling in dentistry is probably higher than in any other industry. This isn’t a bad thing because data shows most types of business will always benefit in the long run when they treat their customers in an ethically responsible and consistent way.
So, how do you actually do ethical selling? That’s for next Update…