Why the hate?

This weekend I figured out why I don’t like salespeople of any kind. Their occupation involves more “moral compromise” than any other just to put food on the table.



11 Responses to Why the hate?

  1. Ed says:

    Don’t hate salesmen–hate the corporate environment. Having been in sales for several years most of our pushiness is required and could be punished by a write-up / reduction in commission etc if witnessed by a manager.

    If anything, their “moral compromise” gains them some grudging respect. Think about it…Salesmen hate their managers/policies, don’t want to institute the policies and get yelled at by the customers. Literally the only respite is in your co-worker…that’s trying to get your next sale and take your money.

  2. Dave says:

    Agreed… that’s exactly why I left my first and only job in sales after only a few months. Trying to maintain moral integrity meant not being able to pay the bills, and I wasn’t comfortable having to make that decision so explicitly on a daily basis.

  3. Yee on a pancake says:

    I know some honest salespeeps. And I know some dishonest salespeeps.

  4. deezil says:

    There are also strippers, but that’s a whole other subsection of ‘moral compromise’.

    Salesmanship is one of those professions where if you can remotely do what someone is asking, you’re going to. You won’t tell them terms and conditions, you’re just going to straight tell them yes, and leave whatever poor sap that has to implement what was just agreed upon to clean up the mess and shoehorn it into whatever actually really works. And the better you lie and make generalizations, the better you do your job, the nicer car you drive, the bigger house you own, and the nicer life you get to live.

    I never looked at it all until right now.

  5. JohnO says:

    I guess I’m going to have to chime in too. I am currently a salesman. I actually like my job and have never, nor never will compromise any moral just to get a sale. To be a truly good salesperson you have to tell the truth. I have a product at my store that I could sell and make a really great commission on. Every time a customer asks about it I direct them to the less expensive, but far superior product.
    Generalizations are really bad to make. It’s like me saying that all computer tech experts are all pompous blowhards. They look down on you at any time you have to ask a question.
    I outsell every hard sale salesperson in my store right now. People have a bullsh!t detector. If I’m not being straight with a customer, 90% of the time they will walk. People buy from me, and recommend me, because I am honest and I will do anything I can to save them a dollar. That’s how you turn one customer in to ten.

  6. adam says:

    peta > terrorists > politicians > salesmen

  7. Yee on a pancake says:

    John0 said it wayyyy better that I could. People underestimate the BS detector – it’s present in the most unassuming of folk.

    But if I may, I’ll go ahead and point out that you used a salesman-like tactic in your web-posing by commanding us to “Duscuss” (a BOLD call to action). Just look at the results. Look at your stats.. Numbers don’t lie, Bofe.

    The question is, what bad experience made you want to post this? You don’t have to name names.

  8. JohnO says:

    You also have to understand that salespeople today are much different than those of yesteryear. We automatically assume that you know quite a bit about the product you are purchasing unless we are told otherwise. With the internet putting mass amounts of research materials at your fingertips, a lot of salespeople will do their best to not talk down to a customer and not assume that you are completely ignorant of the product you are buying. As a result, sometimes information isn’t covered during the sales process. I make it a point to cover everything I possibly can with my customers, but there is a lot of information involved with what I do. Inevitably, something will get missed with at least one out of ten customers of mine. Once that happens I will go out of my way to make that person feel whole again. It’s something I learned when I was waiting tables. Often times you can give a table of four free dessert (Cost to me less than four dollars) and in turn they will leave a tip that will cover the expense and still have a minimum of 10% of the bill left over to put in my pocket. Once I did something like that I can guarantee they will come back and ask for me specifically. This applies in everything I do now. If I can get a customer something for free, or at a severely reduced rate, they will be happy. A good salesperson is not someone who sells a bunch. A good salesperson is known for how they deal with the mistakes and mishaps.
    I’ve had more positive compliments to my superiors from people that have had minor problems that I have gone above and beyond to correct, than from people whose transaction went perfectly smooth.

  9. stinkypie says:

    My job is based off of the misfortune of others. Now that’s depressing.

  10. stinkypie says:

    Also, I deal with salesmen on a daily basis. Most of them are idiots.

  11. Some Betty says:

    Having worked in an environment for two years and dealt with the complications of being morally compromised, I feel two ways about the situation.

    The first is, of course, hatred. I’ve had to lie to customers, and yes, I felt awful about doing so. I dislike doing things that involve no truth, but I dealt with it. It’s a business. That’s how businesses work occasionally.

    On the flip side of that, there was a lot of honesty involved with the job, which made me feel good. That’s how I kept sane and made the lying feel reasonable to my conscious. I told customers when there could be a discount or they could receive what they needed for less. All while doing so, keeping a smiling face and really feeling like I was helping them out.

    The struggle I had was how to live with the times I had lied and still feel good about what I had done, which brings me to the next feeling.

    The feeling I went home with every evening was…something. I lied when I needed to, did things to make myself feel better, but overall told the truth, depending on the customer.

    If I lied, it was for a good reason, to either keep business or to save my own ass. Or someone else’s. Some people needed to be lied to, which sounds terrible, but makes sense. It’s like when you were 6 and your parents told you the dog ran away, but really some asshole down the street was going too fast and flattened him. The customer that needs to be lied to has to be assured that everything is okay, even when it’s not. Things will pan out from there.

    If I didn’t like the customer, all bets were off. I got hit on, grabbed, stared at (HEY! MY EYES ARE UP HERE!!!^^), asked out and everything else you can imagine. I wrestled with a 35 year old man one day. (NOTE: Sobriety was not a requirement in the facility.) I did things people would never believe like hiking prices and giving less than was asked. I didn’t care because those people had no respect for me, so I figured I should have no respect for them.

    There were other customers I truly like and to this day those same people ask about me at my old job. They were patient when I started and by the end of it, they were requesting me to assist them with purchasing or what have you. I have seen them on the street and hugged them, asking about family or that sort of thing. I was more prone to help those who had helped me or at least been patient enough to get through those first weeks of being new.

    What did I walk away with?

    Well, I got over the idea of moral compromise. I learned when I stepped out the back door and got into my vehicle to leave, the day was over and I didn’t think about it much more. There were times that something big happened that I couldn’t shake, but I embraced that lesson and applied it to the following days.

    Moral compromise doesn’t have much to do about the customer in the long run. It’s how you feel about what you’re doing, and how far you’ll go to see that something get done. Personally, I just learned when to be a dick about some things and nicer person about others. But all us salespeople stuck together and got shit done, regardless.

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