Business is a challenging environment.
And selling is a challenging vocation.
As salespeople and sales managers – particularly in larger organisations – we can often feel that others in our organisations don’t understand the challenges we face, or the pressures we are put under to achieve our revenue targets.
But do the means always justify the ends?
Most of us have seen the famous scene in A Few Good Men where Jack Nicholson’s character, Colonel Jessep, firmly believes his means are essential to do his job – the protection of the western world – and most of the rest us simply can’t handle the truth of this reality.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Colonel Jessep. After all, he did believe that he was doing the right thing by his country and by his men. However – even in war there are lines which should not be crossed – and, in the end, the Colonel put much greater human values at risk in his attempt to do his job.
As salespeople and sales managers, do we ever cross the line?
Have a look at this short video, and see what you think:
The lesson here is about much more than the expense claim – it’s about all the things that go to make up how we act in the business world and in sales situations.
I’ll leave you to ponder whether or not your sales approach, actions and tactics are justifiable – most of us know if what we’re doing is right. And if we are asked to do things which aren’t right, we always have a choice. Selling isn’t war. And if the means don’t justify the end in defending your country, then they certainly won’t justify your efforts to produce some extra revenue, and the few dollars of commission that may come with it.
So the choice lies with each of us as we live our lives in the world of sales. To do whatever it takes to get the sale – or to get the sale while retaining our beliefs, values and integrity. I’ve been down the “whatever it takes” route – and I can tell you the price is never worth it.
Good luck in making your choices.
And, just for fun, here’s the actual scene:
For those of you who’d like the full text of Colonel Jessep’s retort, together with extracts of other key scenes from A Few Good Men, have a look here:
Thanks for reading this post – Paul Sparks, Sales Effectiveness Australasia.
“Taking you beyond sales training and keeping you informed about the latest ideas, trends, innovation, research & best practice in professional selling and sales management”
If you would like to connect with Paul Sparks please email paulsparks [at] saleseffectiveness.com.au