Sales Greed Ethics and Morality.

By Chris Lott | Sales | 8590 Views | 4 Comments    

Poor choices are made daily. Temptations and sales greed to take things too far are always there. What separates those that make correct business choices and those that don’t? Let’s take a look.


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I worked for a brilliant man that was a total thief. He had a high IQ, enjoyed a photographic memory, and was blessed with a beautiful intelligent family. From the outside… a quality of life most of us only dream of. For him though, it wasn’t enough. He had made up a fictitious company and embezzled millions of dollars from trusting church members. And it wasn’t the first time.

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” -Erich Fromm

The interesting part to this story is that he had another legitimate business that was just taking off and doing well. He just wanted it all now. Sound familiar? How many times have we read about people with so much that chance it all for more? DeLorean , Stewart , and the list goes on and on.

As you read stories of sales greed and sorrow there’s a recurring theme. They never start off big. It always starts with simple small justifications. Then it leads to bigger justifications until it gets too big to handle and finally blows up. That pretty much sums up how all immorality works in general and business is not different.

Something to think about: Do the ends justify the means in any business/sales decision? When is too much too much… i.e. crossing the line?

“Opportunity” can lead to Immoral Acts
Arriving at an evening sales appointment, and to my surprise, my “appointment” opened the door in a revealing negligee to only realize I had brought my boss. After the extremely awkward meeting, and as we were walking towards the car, my manager said in a matter of fact tone “Chris, there’s a lot of insurance on the books due to wrong choices in situations like that.” Even as green as I was then I knew exactly what he meant.

A newly divorced potential client had been trying to get me to go out for a couple of drinks after work. After multiple failed attempts she finally came in to sign contracts. Unfortunately, she still had something else on her mind. Boldly she asked if we could be alone. I refused. Dressed in a tight black outfit she grabbed my hand and said “your wife is a lucky person” and left with her merchandise. Her ex-husband called a couple of hours later and thanked me for being so professional and honest with her. He happened to own a large multi-site plumbing company and promised to send me some business which he did.

“A person is born with desires of the eyes and ears, and a liking for beautiful sights and sounds. If he gives way to them, they will lead him to immorality and lack of restriction, and any ritual principles and propriety will be abandoned.” -Xun Zi

One of my sales professionals, young, cute, bubbly personality was being actively pursued by a potential client. He was young, wealthy and single. She came into my office one day very frustrated with how the sales process had been going. Asking for my advice… I told her that if he was legitimate he would make the purchase, or not, and then legitimately date if she was interested. She asked me to go with her to the proposal meetings. Instantly the sale went cold and he bought elsewhere. She was grateful and not sad at all about losing the deal.

There could easily have been three very different endings to these stories. I have witnessed others that made wrong decisions incur trouble, sorrow, and sometimes loss of family and pride. It’s simply not worth it.

Some feel they need to “Medicate”
With sales, as in business, there are wins and losses and highs and lows. Peaks and valleys we call them. All in all pretty demanding mentally. To win deals you need to be “up”. People don’t buy from depressed people. The reality is sometimes we’re tired, personal issues suck, and being “up” isn’t going to happen. The term “my heads on backwards” comes to mind. What to do? Some exercise, educate, and stay fresh. Others turn to quick fixes like drugs. I think we all know how the later turns out.

“An intelligent person can rationalize anything, a wise person doesn’t try.” ― Jen Knox

What Happens on the Road Stays on the Road
Business professionals that go to conferences and road warriors entertaining clients find the temptations too much many times as well. Drinking, clubbing, whatever, are the orders of the night. Clients push for this and use the salesperson as an excuse for their immoral actions and vice verse.

I don’t drink (I’m not being judgmental here just stating a fact) and am a very dedicated husband and father. I make sure my clients always know that. It is never questioned. Many times they would drink before and at dinner. After they’ve had a couple of drinks or so I would casually leave as dinner was winding down and go off to my hotel room. The next day I would hear about the indiscretions and was always thankful I had not been involved. Like my boss always said… nothing good happens after 10pm. How right he was and is.

Take a minute and think about the repercussions of your actions. Make a conscience decision upfront of what your direction and choices will be. Your career, business, and personal life successes could depend on your sales greed, ethics and morality.

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Chris Lott has this crazy creative side that motivates him to design websites and write articles. He's a disruptive technologist and is passionate about sales, family, and anything related to technology. See what others are saying about his work!.


4 thoughts on “Sales Greed Ethics and Morality.

  1. I’m currently reading a book by Ken Balnchard called “The Secret”. In it he discusses the secret of “Great Leaders”. They really emphasize the finding of people with great character and teaching them leadership skills (as opposed to finding someone with great leadership skills, but of questionable character).

    I think character is the difference between making good choices and bad. To that point, I think strong integrity and great discipline are two key characteristics that can help you find those individuals who have good character and will subsequently make better decisions as a result.

  2. Chris, I appreciate your article. We all deal with immoral and unethical behavior. We all should plan our own lives with focus on maintaining morality and ethics. I recently thought I bought a new automobile from a car dealer in SLC. Well the car was not available the day I bought it but it would be within a few days. I was going to be out of town for 5 days. I gave earnest money and signed an agreement, but when I went to pick up the car they told me the car had already been sold. Since it was a the end of the model year, I was losing what would have been excellent savings on the purchase price and there were no more models available with that configuration. My best guess as to what happened is that they found the opportunity to sell the car for much more than I had negotiated. The interesting thing is that they all blamed someone else, so I don't really know what happened. Needless to say when they offered me an alternate car I went down the street and bought one from their competitor and was happy to pay the competitor a higher price than to give it to the unethical original dealer. Now I have a group of friends who will not deal with the original dealer. When you lose your integrity and morality you lose the trust that is essential to doing business and you flunk the test of life–the building of your own character with values that you can pass to the next generations.

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