Paul Castain's Blog

Will You Hold Your Ground And Do What’s Right?

Posted January 11, 2012

I come across sales reps every day who are saying things, and doing things they don’t feel good about!


Because this is what their boss, “the powers that be” or the owner  told them to do.

Things like deceptive prospecting techniques

–      Telling the assistant Mr. Jones is expecting your call when he isn’t.

–      Telling the assistant you are returning their boss’s call when you aren’t!

–      When asked “What is this in reference to?” you reply “It’s personal”

Things like BS product recommendations not because its best for the client . . . because its best for your company. Meanwhile, the less expensive alternative was just fine.

Things like unnecessary upgrades. Not because these are the best for the client . . . they are best for your company.

How about bogus fees?

I could go on and on but I’d rather ask you a question . . .

At what point do you tell the boss, “the powers that be” and the owner to kiss your ass because homie don’t play that?

Or is it just better to put your head down and comply?

What are your thoughts?

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  • Bobvanwinter

    Another excellent topic Mr. Castain! I am fortunate, my business is repeat business with many long term customers. The bs doesn’t cut it. Even if it gets your foot in the door it’s impossible to maintain long term relationships that start by bs. I’m looking forward to reading all the responses to this.

  • Cheryl Bedard

    Right on, Paul. Two additional quotes…from The Who: “Who are you?” From my Dad: “There’s no right way to do the wrong thing.”
    Keep the wise words coming.

    • I love both of your quotes . . . well said Cheryl!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Debbie

    Good morning Paul,

    At the end of the day you have to look yourself in the mirror.  It only takes one bad decision to ruin a lifetime; keep honor and ethics a priority no matter what cost.

    Please keep your thoughts coming.


    • ” It only takes one bad decision to ruin a lifetime; keep honor and ethics a priority no matter what cost” . . . Well said Debbie!
      Thank you!

  • Marc Smith

    Stand ones Integrity Ground with the Boss, if that can’t be done, discount the Boss and “Do the Right Thing” for the Client.  Then one can’t be wrong on ANY count.  Then, start looking work for a Boss who is forthright…

  • Thanks Bob!

  • Robert Davis

    If I lose my integrity then I have gained nothing. I still have to look at myself in the mirror and being a liear, cheat, whatever you want to call it is not for me. I tell prospective employers that I will not angage in that behavior upfront. I am lucky to work with a group of people that refuse the work that way and if someone does do that, we bring them back into the fold.

    • “If I lose my integrity then I have gained nothing” . . . Well said and perhaps the most compelling argument for having integrity.
      Thanks Robert!

  • Michelle

    Cheryls Dad is right, thanks for sharing. I like to think of this as keeping the MICE close and safe (Morals, Intergity, Credibility, and Ethics). If your MICE get caught in a trap it is absolutly going to hurt.

    • What a cool way to remember some might important things Michelle.


  • Paul, 

    You have really highlighted a long debated dilemma  for all sales professionals. When does sales technique/style/methods “cross the proverbial ethical line”? Is everything fair in love, war and sales? If it is a “one,done, close” where many believe anything is fair. But if you are truly trying to establish a relationship can you begin with a “lie”, in that case if you are caught it really is “one and you’re done!Consider the Great Line from Glengarry Glen RossBlake: Your name is “you’re wanting”, and you can’t play the man’s game, you can’t close them, and then tell your wife your troubles. ‘Cause only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me you  &%$#@@!! @SS:disqus $*#.Bill

  • Don

    There is a song by Toby Mac that says “I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul”…….pretty much sums it up for me!

    • I like it Don . . . Thanks for weighing in on this!

  • Ron B

    I really like Matthew 16:26 which says “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”  Whether you quote the bible, someone famous, or Cheryl’s Dad, it is all the same, put morals and integrity first.  Thanks for the great post Paul!

  • Hey Paul,
    It’s amazing how honor has gone by the wayside for so many people.
    All you have to do is ask yourself:
    is what I am doing honorable for everyone, especially me?
    Great post Thanks!!

  • Jabba

    I had worked on such a team some years back, the Manager called us “The Oakland Raiders” of sales teams. I always took the high road and stuck to the professional path and was rewarded when a major multi site Association needed an agent to work with them; this “whale” was handed off to me as they knew I could take the path they would be comfortable with, and because as we were a “virtual company” outsourced, they knew the client would be happy with my work. A large multi site deal came out of it so for me it has always been the high road.

  • Larry


    Great topic and one which I fought in my early years of sales.  I was once so afraid of my boss, that one night at dinner, he would not let me have a beer.  He wanted to show me how to drink Wine.  I do not like wine ..I’m just a beer guy…but I drank some wine because I afraid I’d lose my job.

    Decades later it is easy to see you have to be your own person, and if lying for the boss is what you are asked to do, then look for another job!

    It’s great that it seems like every post here feels the same way!


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