What is Selling Ethics?
Selling ethics is a set of positive activities a seller does for his customers to benefit them along with profit to him.
The ethical activities of the seller in selling may include providing appropriate knowledge, treating with respect, fairness, providing good products, and other good works for the prospects.
Selling is a part of a total business system. Therefore, “Selling ethics refer to moral principles and values that dictate selling and sales management conduct and behavior”. In fact, these ethical principles and values reflect the cultural values and norms of society, and people know what ought to be done and what not to in a given situation.
As compared to other employees of the firm, salespeople face a greater number of ethical issues. Some examples,
- When salespeople are under intense pressure to close sales, ethical issues arise.
- Salespeople operate their activities as the link between buying and selling organizations.
- When discrepancies arise between these organizations, salespersons face ethical conflict issues.
- When a sales manager overlooks ethical transgression, ethical issues arise.
- While negotiating, sometimes, salespeople can encourage dishonesty or exaggeration -an unethical aspect.
- When salespersons work in isolation and there is no supervising body, they may face ethical issues.
Ethical Issues in Selling
The above-mentioned examples are the situations when salespersons have to face ethical issues. Now the question is: What are ethical issues in selling? They are,
Bribery is defined as making money, gifts, or inducements in exchange for a sale. This act is unethical since it goes against the principle of fairness in business negotiations. Bribes, on the other hand, are a common practice in many countries.
However, businesses must determine whether or not to function in such an unethical climate. We occasionally read in the papers about the percentage of corruption in these countries.
A salesperson’s goal is to get a customer to place an order. He/she becomes more tempted in the situation and may deceive the buyer. Misleading the buyer can take several forms, including exaggeration of facts, lying about the truth, and concealing crucial facts about the product while appealing to the customer.
These kinds of behaviors are unethical deceptions. As a result, sales management should teach salespeople and make them aware of the dangers of such behavior. As a result, the sales manager should be very careful to develop a code of conduct for salespeople and, if necessary, dissuade them from fraudulent behavior.
The Hard Sell
Some salesmen engage in aggressive selling tactics in order to close a sale quickly. In reality, they put clients under a lot of pressure by promising extraordinary discounts if they buy their products later.
In Nepal, for example, vehicle salesmen frequently employ this strategy. If you express even a passing interest in receiving information, they will begin phoning you on your phone/mobile phone days after days, even for up to a month, until you finally make a purchase.
Customers are put under pressure by such calls, and some are caught by this unethical promotional incentive. Manufacturers who seek to boost their own sales among competitors engage in this unethical behavior.
We know that multiple manufacturers’ items are sold by the same shops (retailers). However, some manufacturers provide incentives to merchants in exchange for stores emphasizing their items over those of competitors. When shoppers inquire about the greatest brand, shops prioritize those brands from whom they receive the most bonuses/incentives.
Reciprocal buying occurs when a client agrees to buy from a supplier only if the provider agrees to buy something from the customer.
Putting such a condition forward is unethical since other suppliers will raise their voices against such an unfair purchasing practice. This strategy stifles free competition – the norm of marketing’s selling and buying.
Slotting allowances are when a producer pays a charge to a retailer in return for an agreement to position a product on the store’s shelves. The primary goal of the manufacturer is to achieve distribution and increase the power of retailers.
Allowances of this nature are commonly seen in supermarkets and large retail transactions. They really distort competition and are thus immoral.
In this type of selling manufacturers encourage other individuals to join through the promise rather than traders like retailers. They recruit such individuals paying for introducing further participants for trading in goods and services.
In other words, pyramid selling is a scheme to earn money through pyramid structure participants. This is unethical. In this regard, The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory perform in Britain has clearly referred to such schemes as illegitimate and illegal.