This is a post about ethics more than it is about sales.
Look at Lance Armstrong, arguably the world’s greatest cyclist. A cancer survivor. Doper. Completely ignored the drug testing people, could not care about them. They in turn left him alone. Lance had a private doping doctor. An amazing fighter – who is now being forced to give up. He is giving up, albeit unwillingly.
Look at Lehman Brothers, arguably one of the top Merchant / Investment bankers. Long history. Great Networking includes best of the people in the networking game. No respect for SEC. Fixing regulators not too much of an issue. They also knew all the Rules of the Game. Leveraged 1:140, wrote derivative positions, borrowed short and lent long – almost broke all rules of the game. One day they just lost it.
Look at the sales function. Agents mis-sell and think it is their right. Top notch companies, so called blue blooded ones encourage it. Name the company and you can get examples of violations. Husband selling on wife’s agency is NOT even seen as a violation. ‘Pass-back’ is illegal only in the IRDA’s imagination. The private sector players say ‘Ask LIC to stop first’. Sales people of course do whatever it takes to achieve sales. Products are tweaked to suit mis-selling (and of course mis-buying). Management chuckles when the awards are given, rules are flouted. CXO says ‘what to do Subra…everybody is doing it’. It sucks. Sales guys are rewarded on ONLY one number: ‘how profitable was the sale’. Nothing else matters. Quality of sales? not even measured. Regulator? he as usual speaks in the language of the strongest player.
What happens when people like Lance, companies like Lehman, and these ‘salesmen’ operate?
The people who live by the rules leave. Ayn Rand says this in her book does she not? When the fixers start ruling the good people have a choice – lower the ethical standards or quit. They choose to quit.
This is sad. The best guys go and choose do something else, they cannot afford to reduce the standards – it is just not done. Careers are destroyed. Crime prevails. Chaos rules. Satan Rules.
When Lehman crashes, or Lance is crucified….no tears are shed for them. However some of the people who were right, feel vindicated. If you came second in the Tour De France you have a right to cry, or blame Karma.
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