This report discussed a business ethical problem I encountered when I was working in Watsons, a China’s beauty destination, which offers various brands of makeup, fragrance or skincare products. As a salesperson, I was responsible for providing customer assistance in identifying products and answering questions that help them make buying decisions. When a new brand was introduced to store, the vendor promised to offer salespeople a sales commission. The money interests pushed some of my colleagues to spare no effort to sell more of this product. I even found sometimes they overstated the its functions and persuade customers to buy what they did not truly need. Potential ethical risks arose in our store.
Ethics allows us to identify principles of “right” and “wrong”. Good ethics are particularly important in personal selling because salespeople may face conflicts between their personal interest and the interest of their firms and customers. From my perspective, receiving compensation from a vendor created a conflict of interest and exposed our store to potential ethical risks. Unethical behavior would harm the long- term relationships with customers. As it turned out, some negative views and customer complains derived from the behaviors of salesperson who favored expending effort on actions, such as deception, that they believed would enhance the probability of a successful transaction and thus earned their commission. Considering the gravity of this situation, I reflected this issue to supervisor. I also analyzed the possible negative influences would be incurred by this unethical behavior to my colleges. To maintain sales revenues and customer’s loyalty, we finally rejected the commission offered by that vendor.
Ethical principles a. Conflicts of Interest “Anything that could be considered a bribe or kickback is a clear conflict of interest. It doesn’t matter whether the bribe or kickback is in the form of money or something else of substantial value that is offered in exchange for access to specific products, services, or influence.” (Treviño, L. K. & Nelson, K. A, 2011) In this case, the "commission" biases salespeople’s recommendation, thus it represents a conflict of interest. If we put ourselves in customers’ shoes, we would find receiving commission is not fair to them. In addition, taking a "commission" might violate bribery or kickback laws. Salespeople have legal duties of loyalty and opportunity to the employer, so this 'commission' may belong to the employer and not to them. b. Customer confidence issues
Excellent customer service involves honestly representing the product or service. To avoid being unethical in the commissioned sales field, salespeople shouldn’t lie or leave out information about a product they are selling. In this case, the reputation of our store was seriously harmed since some of my colleagues were not taking personal honesty and responsibility for the products and services that we offer. They over exaggerated the product’s…