Faculty & Departments

RESEARCH NEWS

How many times can a salesperson compromise his integrity during the sales cycle?

Answer: 44

January 15, 2006


Marketing Professor John Weber, who has extensively studied high-end business-to-business sales cycles, has identified 44 steps along the sales cycle where professionals are routinely tempted to compromise integrity in the interest of making the sale.

These lapses in integrity include:

•Pushing undesirable overstocked products

•Insincerely building rapport

•Giving kickbacks

•Distorting information about a competitor

•Using tech talk to the disadvantage of an uninformed buyer, to name a few.

These findings are critical because a company’s overall reputation for integrity can ride in each and every contact between the salesperson and the customer.

Weber has prepared real-life case studies around these 44 points to help sales professionals and students self-discover the integrity issues at risk. He contends that when sales professionals consider these issues in an open-ended way, they discover the far-reaching implications of their actions and can pause to think creatively about alternative choices.

To review a selection of these case studies, refer to Professor Weber's Sales Ethics Cases