Is there a place for self-Interest in sales? This is going to sound like an absolute contradiction to Integrity Selling, but I believe that all people are inherently self-interested. Before you get offended at my apparent cynicism of humanity, I’m not trying to support Gordon Gekko’s famous quote: “Greed is good.” What I am saying is that self-interest is in all of us, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
We all have internal drives to meet our own needs. We understand from Maslow’s hierarchy that these come in different levels, from basic food and shelter, to self-actualisation. If we were to neglect ourselves of these, we would perish. Where I draw the line between “good” and “bad” self-interest is how we go about pursuing our goals.
Self-Interest in Sales: The Bad
Bad self-interest is when a person takes resources from another for their personal gain. People with the win-lose mentality see others as objects to serve their purposes. Sales as a profession has been plagued by self-interested people who saw their job as taking money from people to earn their commissions. They would use a myriad of lies and manipulation techniques to make a quick buck. Not only is it immoral, it is the formula for long-term failure.
Self-Interest in Sales: The Good
Good self-interest is when a person gives to others for their personal gain. They recognise that people are of incredible inherent value, and always seek win-win situations. Top salespeople understand that they need to give more in value than they receive in payment to be successful. They earn their commissions by helping both their company and its customers receive a positive return on investment.
Self-Interest in Sales: Conclusion
Recognising the difference between good and bad self-interest will free us to earn all that we can in sales. As long as we are exchanging greater value than the prices we charge for our products, we can feel good about ourselves and the difference we are making in people’s lives.
If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to click ‘like,’ leave a comment, or share it with others!
Image credit: https://pixabay.com/