Stealing Sales

posted: Friday, November 13, 2015

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In a perfect world, sales and the income derived from them, would be directly apportioned according to the effort and ability of the salesperson involved. Integrity would be the guiding principal of every interaction with other humans.

I believe that the majority of salespeople are honest, ethical beings who are skilled at providing quality service and products at a fair price. That said, one must be aware of those "team players" whose only concern is to line their own pockets, regardless of the impact that their actions have on those around them. While these individuals are not prevalent, having an awareness of their modus operandi can help to prevent their lack of uprightness from influencing your income.

John, a friend of mine, and his wife Mary, were recently shopping for furniture and bought a brand new bedroom set from a salesperson. On that same shopping trip, John and Mary decided to buy a dining room table at a later date. They told the salesperson that when they did buy it that they would buy from him because he had been so good to them. The salesperson handed them his card and said even if he wasn’t there that all John and Mary had to do was talk to any salesperson and tell them that they are buying the table, and would like for the commission to be split between the first salesperson and the second.

That was extremely classy of the first salesperson, he did everything to sell John and Mary the table but the paperwork and still wanted to split the commission. That’s the way this transaction should have worked.

The second salesperson did exactly what the first salesperson told John and Mary he would do. He processed the order, took the money and set up delivery. John told the second salesperson that they had worked with the first salesperson extensively and would like to see him receive a part of the commission. The second salesperson said, “Of course” and appeared to write both names on the order.

The first salesperson called a couple of days later to make sure John and Mary were happy with the bedroom set and what they learned floored them. They told him that they were extremely happy with both the bedroom set and the dining room table. It was at the point when John and Mary realized that the first salesperson had no idea they had bought the table, and he obviously had not received half of the commission.

Again I doubt this happens a lot and hope this is one rogue salesperson and not a common practice, but it’s a story that needed to be told. We all want to make as many sales as possible, but give credit to others when it’s due.

Being aware of fellow team members and the way they generally treat customers and other salespeople can temper the degree of trust to behave honorably in all situations. Sometimes, (and thankfully, not frequently) one needs to exercise caution around shared sales and to skillfully confront the problem should it arise.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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