In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

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In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

Postby sillysmile on December 7th, 2011, 8:02 pm 

Well... My interview was successful. Today I got a job as a commission salesman who's main purpose is to persuade potential clients into purchasing stuff that they don't really want. Key word: persuade. Truthfully, I feel morally opposed to the job, is that unreasonable?
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Re: In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

Postby Typist on December 7th, 2011, 9:18 pm 

We try to sell people ideas they don't really want all the time on philosophy forums.

I don't see a problem with selling ideas or products so long as all parties have entered the conversation willingly.

You might resolve your concerns this way.

Instead of focusing on persuasion, focus on finding ever greater numbers of people who are already looking for something like the solution you can offer.

As example, consider the difference between telemarketing and creating a website.

Telemarketing is pushing yourself in to the lives of people. Given your concerns, this kind of approach would likely burn you out.

On the other hand, building a web site makes you available to those already searching for a solution. You're standing by, ready, willing and able to serve those seeking assistance.

Good luck!
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Re: In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

Postby sillysmile on December 8th, 2011, 5:03 am 

Thanks for your reply typist, and I think you make some good points. When customers come to you for your products it's quite different to actively searching for them, intruding, and attempting to manipulate them into buying things. Unfortunately, the sales job I was offered is telemarketing based.
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Re: In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

Postby Typist on December 8th, 2011, 5:15 am 

Hmm.... Well, let's see.

Given how you reasonably feel about this, I'm guessing the telemarketing job will only last so long. An alternate strategy might be....

1) Do what you have to do for now.

2) While you do the telemarketing job, begin planning the next phase of your career.

If you're willing to work on commission, but don't like being pushy, you might consider affiliate marketing online. You create a website, and build traffic to it, no pushy stuff.

It's commissioned based, and you can work for multiple merchants at once. You own the website, so you can't be fired. If one merchant drops you, just find another to replace them.

This is building a business, your own business, not just doing a job where somebody else calls all the shots, and keeps all the profits.

It's a lot of work, but then, so is everything else.

If this appeals, think in terms of something like a 5 year plan. It won't solve the problem now, but if you work at it diligently in your spare time, it could solve the problem down the road.
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Re: In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

Postby sillysmile on December 9th, 2011, 5:48 pm 

Typist, thank you for an insightful reply once again. I'm actually a psychology student, and aspire to become a psychologist in the future.

I've been looking for short term jobs where I could save money before uni starts (in about 3-4 months). Truthfully, I've realised that I'm not much of a salesman (to be honest I'm not persuasive enough, and the particular job made me feel demoralised), and would prefer to try another job avenue. I actually quit the sales job yesterday, and have a new job working as a waiter at a cafe.

Are you/were you a salesman?
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Re: In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

Postby Forest_Dump on December 9th, 2011, 7:23 pm 

Typist wrote:We try to sell people ideas they don't really want all the time on philosophy forums.


I don't think that applies here. We actually try to discourage it to some degree.

sillysmile wrote:Unfortunately, the sales job I was offered is telemarketing based.


Sadly, although I know these jobs are not well paying and have become deskilled and depersonalized, etc., (the new "death of the salesman") with the way the economy has been going, I would advise hanging on to whatever you can get (until something better comes along, of course). IMHO, the private sector of the economy has drained the life out of our political and economic system, reducing wages and benefits, etc., all across the board so until somebody actually comes up with a way to fix it, the best advice is to hang on as long as you can because I think it is going to be quite some time before things get better for most people. And telemarketing is one of those jobs that might be more likely to be increasingly shipped overseas where people will work for far less.
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Re: In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

Postby Typist on December 9th, 2011, 10:22 pm 

sillysmile wrote:I actually quit the sales job yesterday, and have a new job working as a waiter at a cafe.


Sounds like a good plan, good luck with the new gig! I admire your decisiveness.

sillysmile wrote:Are you/were you a salesman?


I've been self employed for 30 years, so such issues are interesting to me. I've had to sell myself, but haven't had a regular sales job. I'm better at selling ideas than I am products and services etc. All I really can claim in that arena is surviving 30 years without a job. :-)
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Re: In regards to persuasion and manipulation in sales.

Postby Percarus on July 1st, 2012, 8:21 am 

Oh well, he quit, no point saying anything further I guess, but here you go future salespeople...

I used to be a telesales agent, a telemarketer, an advertising account manager, a door-to-door residential salesman, a business-to-business salesman and a variation of those roles in the past. When working such roles you really ought to consider sales tactics from a 'situational' perspective. It is rare to find individuals who seek to commit to such roles but were you to do so it would be imperative you act with intentions to aide the customer and develop a reputation for integrity - if this is what your bosses desire.

Now, the quickest way to guarantee TOP performance in such roles is to approach the most skilled employee in the organization and request, I am sorry, I mean demand, that he/she write down their entire sales pitch alongside an answer to every single situation they may present themselves again. You then have the obligation to memorize every one of these jottings and pretty much act like a parrot regurgitating such knowledge to the precise detail. As this process becomes automated you should then be able to personalise and use more of your own charisma that suits your authentic self - not before too long you should be the top salesperson of the team, guaranteed (or at least in par).

Such is sales work, you learn, you regurgitate, and then you improvise. Now here is the matter of situational ethics I was talking about... Top salespeople sometimes achieve such a status through 'inappropriate' means, that is, they will not necessarily tell an outright lie but they will omit vital information. It is also not unethical to make comparison to competitor's pricing provided you don't have it written down to show but instead you utilize knowledge through memory and creative flair. So what if you are selling a local and long distance phone network by abstaining the fact that the local area does not cater for local phone bills and that in fact you will still get a bill from your current provider for the local bills? Customers don't need to know they will get two separate bills over the mail, after all you are still saving them money and they never inquired! Such is the nature of sales people - do not trust them.
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