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             28 January, 2021

Category:  Articles » Business » Ethics


Sales Incentives Are Unethical

         Views: 2193
2008-10-06 06:25:18     
Article by Jeff Welcher

Free trips to Cancun. Week-long company 'retreats' in Hawai'i. Company-sponsored conventions in Vegas that just happen to take place over a four-day weekend. We've all heard of business perks like these, and likely know the type that regularly attends such lavish functions. They're typically the ones who are getting the top sales numbers at their companies, who sold more of Product A during Quarter 3 than any one has ever sold, are consistently making their quotas....well you get the idea. They are the jerk salespeople who pride themselves on a record of 'earning' their way into these types of things.

Why is this wrong? Because salespeople shouldn't be convincing others to buy their products/services because they need one more sale to make it to Cabo San Lucas. Their sales technique and approach should be company-related, not incentive-based. What should be perceived about someone's morals when they are convincing a company to purchase their product(s) because they need just one more sale to get a trip or prize or cash bonus? In my mind, this type of person is being unethical. More importantly however, I question the morals of whomever has proposed such an outlandish rewards system.

How does it make sense to offer standard commission (or even none) for say 8 or 9 sales in a month, but the minute a salesperson hits 10...DING DING DING! DROP THE BALLOONS AND RING THE BELL! Just typing this makes me feel silly!

Of course it is silly. There is nothing magical X-number of sales and X-number of sales + 1. And yet this can be the difference between a salesperson going to Bermuda or going home to mope around the house wondering what they could have done to convince just one more potential client.

Craziness; that's what it is. If you believe in your company, you should not be putting your employees in a position where if they beg-borrow-and steal their way to a sale, they are heavily rewarded. Rewards should be reasonable, fractional and reflect a 'big picture' approach. Send someone on a great trip because of five years of good service, not five months. Don't tell them what they need to do to earn rewards, simply do the calculations behind their back and make all rewards, big or small, a pleasant surprise.

A lot can be said for a sale that was procured through hard, diligent work and truthful communication. Very little can be said for a client who was pushed into a commitment because the salesperson was reaching for an incentive.

Jeff Welcher is an employee benefits consultant at CompPayPlus, located in Rochester, NY and serving all 50 states. He is a Master's graduate of the Annenberg School of Communication (USC) and is an avid golfer and mountain biker.

CompPayPlus can be found at http://comppayplus.com

Specialized in: Sales - Incentives - Unethical
URL: http://comppayplus.com
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