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Would You Encourage Your Children to Pursue Sales?

If not, what does that say about the state of sales ethics?

The facilitator asked a provocative question: How many of you would tell your children to pursue a sales career? Everyone laughed, but no hands went up. A surprising response, since the participants were all tenured and successful sales leaders. (My hand went halfway up, but that didn’t count.)

I can think of a few reasons sales pros wouldn’t encourage their children to follow in their footsteps—the long hours, the busy travel schedule that often keeps you away from home, the unpredictable income. But there’s also the fact that sales has a bad rap … and rightfully so in many cases. The used-car salesman image comes to mind. All talk, no sales ethics.

I never thought sales would be my career. My dad was a savvy salesman, so I had a good teacher. But I couldn’t get the image of pushy, arrogant, pitching, truth-stretching, smoke-and-mirrors salespeople out of my mind.

Of course, I did pursue this career, and I learned that there is such a thing as sales ethics. It’s just hard to tell because the pushy, smoke-and-mirrors folks are louder than those of us who are trustworthy and who care about helping our clients get great outcomes. It’s gotten worse today, mainly because selling is no longer just face-to-face. People abuse technology (especially social media) to amplify the most revolting sales traits—pitching products, using cold calling scripts, telling you they read your post when they didn’t, and demanding meetings when you don’t know them.

That’s why I’m sharing Mark Hunter’s conversation with Bruce Weinstein, The Ethics Guy. Mark says “ethics” is a word that’s rarely, if ever, used in the same sentence as “sales.” Read his article and learn why “ethics is not just something you say. It is something you live.”

Ethics in Sales. Do the Two Words Even Go Together?
By Mark Hunter

Think about the number of times you’ve been faced with a difficult decision and the stress of having to reach a decision.  One of the things you struggled with is your ethics and how they impact your thinking.

Bruce Weinstein is known as “The Ethics Guy,” and I say he really is “the ethics guy”—not just because he has a trademark on the name, but because I’ve known him for several years and have watched him live out his ethics.

You see, ethics is not just something you say. It is something you live.  Anyone can say they’re ethical. It’s another thing to live it in the midst of an issue that has financial or moral implications.

Where does ethics fall in the list of characteristics a salesperson should have?  For that matter, what is the role ethics should play in everyone?

(Read the rest of this article, including the interview with Weinstein, on TheSalesHunter.com.)

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