The business of sales incorporates the interchange of a product or service for money or other payment types. Sales may be private, for example, when a person sells a personal computer or car. On the other hand, sales may be commercial, for instance, when a person or an organization obtains an item from a store. When a consumer looks for the information about an item or obtains it, he or she believes that the selling party will operate having the best interests in mind. Therefore, sales operations are supposed to adhere to the ethical norms in a form of a code of ethical conduct. Otherwise, a salesperson may suffer the sanctions from the regulatory agencies and affecting the reputation in the eyes of the customers. Thus, a salesperson can obtain guidance on ethical activities from the industry and marketing associations, as well as develop individual inner policies. Therefore, those companies and individuals that adhere to sales ethics esteem the rights of all shareholders in the business while making decisions that are in the best interests of the company.
Markets are known to be a collision of interests between different players. They are characterized by the competition for resources, clients and prices, which generates a basic ground for operations. However, constant rivalry for the market share may cause unethical behavior and provoke the imposition of sanctions. A particular code of conduct, regulations and operations, defined as ethics are necessary for managing markets and marketing operations. In other words, ethics stands for principles or values by which marketing and sales operations should be performed in the marketplace. A particular code of conduct or directing principles are necessary to assure that operations and industry competition is fair and advantageous to the end user when there are many transactions incorporated. There are various philosophies or the ethical schools of thought in sales, one of them being the political philosophy while the other one is transaction-focused. According to the first approach, all sales attempts should be concentrated on maximizing the stakeholders’ value, which is a single appropriate marketing ethics. The second approach states that sales and market are evenly accountable to clients, other shareholders and the stakeholder. Thus, the strategy of earmarking the targeted sectors, originating requirements, which have been previously inexistent, transparency concerning the source of labor and environmental hazards, transparency regarding the usage of sources and ingredients, relevant labeling, recollecting associated health hazards, publicizing jurisprudence and not making false promises fall within the realm of sales ethics.
Therefore, a code of ethics in sales is a specific type of policy statement. An adequately and relevantly formulated code is, in force, a type of regulations within the company or organization, which is mandatory for its employees, noting particular sanctions for violation of the code. When such sanctions are missing, the code is merely an enumeration of reverences. The most stringent sanction is typically dismissal, unless a crime has been committed.
The code of ethics in sales typically relates to the standards, conduct, values, responsibilities, and organizational relations. Thus, the Direct Selling Association (DSA) presupposes that individuals in the sales industry undertake liabilities to their customers as a result of the personal character of sales interplay. They have standards of conduct, which they are supposed to advance, as the society and other companies put confidence in this. The values demonstrated and enlisted in the code of ethics in sales repulse moral exemplars and serve as a direction, which is consistent with legal liabilities against which sales experts are able to weigh themselves and others. Secondly, the conduct of sales experts should never deliberately be malevolent, deceitful or illegal. In accordance with DSA, a sales individual is supposed to claim constantly veridical facts concerning a service or product’s cost, caliber, operation, value, and accessibility. Customers should be provided with the written terms of sales at the time of a sale while the order must be written definitely and in a readable manner. Thirdly, the values demonstrated in the code of ethics for sales incorporate integrity, liability, equity, esteem and transparency. Sales experts and employees should always be honest regarding the products and services offered while the promises and commitment made to the customers should be upright. They are accountable for meeting the requisitions of customers, upholding private data and enumerating the obligations to shareholders. Sales employees are supposed to introduce and advertise their products and services in a clear, non-deceptive and free from conflicts of interest manner. Sales professionals should constantly understand their customers and treat them fairly and honorably regardless of gender, race, religion, etc. Moreover, sales experts should permanently reveal hazards regarding products or services and their prices. Fourthly, when a client makes a complaint, sales expert is supposed to investigate the claim. On the other hand, when the complaint concerns a sales professional, the company this sales expert represents, is supposed to investigate the claim promptly. Sales experts must always check the information about the existing laws and their changes, which apply to the particular sphere of sales and should inform customers about the laws when appropriate. People working in a sales position should always sustain client’s privacy and constantly advocate customer’s confidentiality via the guidelines enlisted in the code of their company’s ethics and the law. Fifthly, the facts demonstrate that a sales professional's conduct has the potential to affect others concerning the organizational relationships. Therefore, it is important for the sales professionals to complete all obligations in the agreements or mutual contracts on time. Sales professionals are not allowed to cause harm to their colleagues by manipulating or using a situation for their own benefit. They are also not permitted to take credit for work they do not perform.
The code of ethics in sales is also accountable for regulating professional conduct, competition, pricing, products, research, and promotion. Thus, ethical conduct in sales presupposes the usage of a professional approach to clients, emulators, partakers of regulatory bodies, and company coworkers. The major features of such behavior incorporate reverent cooperation, deliberation for cultural diversity and nondiscriminatory conduct towards people who are different from the sales professional. A salesperson is supposed to behave honestly, delineate situations and products precisely and make productive and helpful contributions to debates regarding issues and solutions. Secondly, healthy competition provides value to clients while providing the competing companies with a possibility to earn a pertinent return on their investment. Ethical conduct in a competitive setting incorporates sustaining fair competition, emulating on the ground of faithfully representing the products and services in the marketplace and conscientiously implementing liabilities. Thirdly, when a salesperson adheres to ethical guidelines in pricing, it presupposes that prices should be comprehensible without any secret or concealed expenses. The consumer should know how much he/she is supposed to pay when making the purchase. The prices should repulse both the cost the company or salesperson incur in delivering the product or service and the value the customer expects to obtain. Fourthly, ethical sales offer merely safe products, which are suitable for their intended usage. A supply of the product incorporates providing instructions, which the client can follow to make the product work as intended, equipping customer service to resolve issues and coping with problems objectively by applying relevant solutions. The adherence to these ethical directions is a perfect sales practice since it tends to elevate customer satisfaction. Fourthly, businesses get personal data about their customers during sales activity and research. Ethical practices presuppose that a company or salesperson respect the privacy of customers and safeguard their information. A salesperson or company has to adhere to privacy legislation and inform customers that their data is collected, informing them about the intended usage, utilizing the data merely for that purpose and destroying it securely. Finally, sales incorporate the promotion of products and services to potential customers. Ethical promotion depicts the offers fairly and definitely, without connections to attractive lifestyles, which are not relevant. It is important to promote products and services on their own quality and worth and call attention to those features, which members of a target market might find valuable when promoting to a particular market segment.
The current essay demonstrates the importance of ethics in sales and depicts the specifics of the code of ethics in sales and management. Elevated examination of corporate operations in the current business climate puts pressure on all sectors of corporate structure, especially in regards of following the ethical sales practices established on fundamentals, which are fair, honest and transparent to the shareholders. The sales profession is a driving force in the contemporary economy and should not be left intact when investigating ethical problems. A society where the consumer is assured and convinced of sincere trade is the only one that will succeed and prosper.