Is there such a thing as an "Ethical Salesperson?"

@filmbuff (2909)
United States
April 17, 2007 2:44am CST
I'm sure that we all have had very bad experiences with commissioned salespeople, and I think that most will agree that car salesmen are the very worst. Do you think that such a thing as an "ethical salesperson" even exists? Good or bad, I'd like to hear your thoughts and experiences. Personally I'd like to think that they do exist and that I am in fact one of those ethical salesmen who isn't out to seperate as much cash from your pocket as I possibly can. Rather I'm more interested it making sure your not unhappy so you don't bring the product back, and would instead rather have you come back to do more business with me in the future and hopefully refer your friends and family to do the same. I have though been raked over the coals myself by some of the unscrupulous types, and I've worked with those who are only interested in the quick buck and large payday. So what do you think? Are there ethical salespeople, and if so, do the good salesmen out-weigh the bad or is it the reverse?
1 person likes this
3 responses
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
3 May 07
Hello Filmbuff, I believe that yes, there certainly are ethical salespeople. In fact, I've work with many sales consultants through the years who are very committed to eliminating all traces of old style 'borax' techniques in favor of a more consumer helpful approach. And, 'consultative sales', as a sales model is growing in popularity because salespeople like to sleep at night, too! The 'consultative' sales approach utilized honest interviewing techniques to come to a reasoned understanding of how the the buyer's needs might be met. Then, if the sales consultant can fulfill those needs - great! If not, an honorable sales rep will either make themselves available should the buyer's needs change, or offer some suggestions on some other way the buyer might have his or her needs met, if not by his or her organization, then by another company. This type of sales technique is particularly useful for both the buyer and seller if an opportunity for cross-selling exists. Because the technique truly lends itself to relationship building. If no cross-selling opportunity exists, then a trained sales consultant can at least hope that their helpful techniques will inspire the buyer to use the seller's services at a future date, if his needs change. Or will at least reward the salesperson's efforts by way of referral. Do the good outweigh the bad? Geeze, I don't know. I suspect it varies greatly from industry to industry, and region to region. I tend to not get beat up by unethical salespeople, because if I notice boraxy type tricks, phrases, or actions -- I'll just ask for a different salesperson, or seek out another vendor. I like to enjoy my buying experience. If I can't, then I won't buy!
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
4 May 07
Thanks for such an excellent response ladyluna, I loved your description of the various sales models as well as pointing out how you want to enjoy your sales experience. I've been taken in by some less than ethical sales types myself, but now that I'm wise to the all tricks it's rare that I fall for them. Much like you I will generally find a new salesperson or take my business elsewhere if it seems the entire company I'm dealing with is shady, or using questionable practices.
2 people like this
@howhigh (758)
• Canada
4 May 07
While I agree with you that the best salesmen are the ones who develop relationships that turn into leads rather than try to plant "deals" or such on people. This method generates positive feedback which may spread. But in our current system I would say it is the consumers responsibility to be informed. The salesmen your talking about are likely the kind on commission or selling expensive investments but the day to day salesmen that operate in convenience stores or shops around the world don't necessarily work the same way. I don't think it is always profitable to build a relationship with your client over using their business, I think the relationship quotient can and should still exist but at this level of salesmanship i think the onus is on the consumer to be informed about their purchases. an informed consumer will always be able to do business with an unethical salesmen sometimes all it is is to change vendor but thats still business, i think on most lost sales salesmen reconsider their approach.. a little bit.
2 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
5 May 07
Working in face to face sales, dealing with products and to lesser extent services, I can tell you that I do try to build a good relationship with each customer. It is very beneficial because it creates repeat business, and referals. If you go out of your way to take care of someone they will come back for that same service, even if it means paying a few extra bucks.
• United States
4 May 07
They may be few but they do exist. I just bought a new car and the guy I dealt with was very nice and honest. I was really picky and he didn't push anything on me. He was very honest about problems I would have with the car and things I would experience. Plus, he gave me a bunch of free stuff, like free mats, which are expensive. And I got the car at a great price. I think that whole dealership is good though. Jeep Chrysler in Littleton CO folks, if you live there. Also, I used to sell Cutco knives and still do on the side. One of the company's policies is no pressure sales. I wouldn't sell the product if it wasn't a good one, and I don't have to lie to the customer. So yeah, they're out there somewhere.
2 people like this
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
5 May 07
Thanks for your comments wertsburg, I agree with as I try to be one of those ethical types. I shudder anytime I think of car sales, but used car salesmen are usually the worst. With new cars, it's not nearly as bad because you can research from the website what the manufacturing sells things for and know a correct price before talking to a salesman. Where dealerships seem to get you, is in the trade-in process, detailing fees, financing and warranties.
@mypeace (394)
• Nigeria
17 Apr 07
I may not be answering your question rightly, but l want to point out that in every profession there are and there should be ethics that guides the conduct of the practitioners. lt is just unfortunate that some practitioners donot abide by the ethics of their professions. Sales persons are not exception. Some of them are so agressive, only minding the immediate sales. In my personal experience the bad out weigh the good, many of them are after their commission.
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@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
17 Apr 07
Thanks for your response. It seems like salesmen do in general have a very bad reputation and you bring up a very valid point in that there are good and bad, ethical and non-ethical people in every profession. Perhaps the sales profession just lends itself to abuse since the majority of those people can realize huge short-term profits by bending the rules and moving on later to another company if they have to. That is of course if the company in question even cares, they may even push the salesmen to do just that so they too can profit from the tactics and blame the saleman. Food for thought, thanks again.
1 person likes this