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Ethical Practice Leads to Big Sales

In the dog eat dog world of sales, one would think that true believers in ethical sales is a dime a dozen.  With huge commissions up for grabs most especially in the real estate sales, expect to find all types of people converging in the industry to squeeze out every drop of penny that they can muster.  Many are motivated by the need or survival. Still more are motivated by greed.

It is heartwarming to know, though, that greed is not necessarily the norm. As a true story narrated below would show,  sellers can earn a lot, be happier, and be more authentically proud of their achievements through the use of ethical practices in sales.

The dream client

Along came one of the most awaited clients of any exhibit, an OFW with loads of money in a hurry to buy a big house in cash before he leaves for his work in Europe in a few days.   Like a walking pawnshop limping on the weight of all his bodily jewelry, the OFW approaches the agent in SM, whom we shall call Jay, and tells Jay of his intention. They set a time to meet in the same exhibit area four days later to visit the site for viewing and signs up with Jay to show to make him his official agent, as required by policy. 

Now the problem

However, the buyer passes by the exhibit area the next day and decides he wants to see the place that day instead.  He does look for Jay but is told he is not there.  He tells the attending agent, whom we shall call Sheena, his intentions of buying a big house with a budget of between P9M to P12M and will pay in cash. Sheena could not believe her ears.  She tries to maintain composure despite getting the feeling that she might faint anytime.  She could get a big amount of money by next week or so if this guy is for real, and by all indications he does look like he is serious.

The buyer decides he wants to see the place with Sheena and will go to the office right after to buy the property if he likes it.  Sheena had no time to think.  She actually knows Jay. They are not close, but they know each other. Jay and Sheena come from different brokering agencies.  She nonetheless feels uncomfortable with the situation.

Knowing the policy of the office, the account really belongs to Jay no matter what the buyer says, having first signed up with him.  If she gets this account, it would be tantamount to stealing as per policy.  This sale can only be hers if the transaction is done secretly with the cooperation of the buyer with the hope that Jay will not find out about it.  Sheena keeps in mind she does have a sick father who needs expensive medical care.

Sheena tells the buyer that she is worried about Jay.  The buyer said she should not worry about Jay and that they want to do the transaction now. He promised to transact this quietly and promised further to protect Sheena should any untoward incident arising from his transaction occur.  Now, isn't that the perfect crime for Sheena?

Suddenly, the buyer's phone rings. It's not Jay, fortunately for Sheena. It's his wife.  The apparent boss of the walking pawnshop says she can't come to see the house that day and wants to move it to the next day instead. The husband dutifully complies so sets the site visit on the next day with Sheena.

Pros and Cons

With that, Sheena was able to buy time to think things through. She consults her colleagues all with differing opinions, perhaps mudding the waters further instead of clarifying the issues involved.  Of course, there is the camp which convinced her to take the sale. She has the full cooperation of the buyer anyway. She is sure to come clean from this transaction.  Besides, they said she should think about her needs, and that of her sick father's.

On the other side of the table, people were saying she should not get the account.  For one, she will need to do a lot to cover up the transaction.  It is not so easy to hide such a big sale without being noticed.  And should she be found out, all her efforts will be for nothing as the account will surely go to Jay.  At the same time, that will seal her reputation, and her brokering agency, as unethical and greedy.

Without deciding yet what to do, she explores ways to come clean should she push through with the transaction, with advice from the “experts” experienced in such endeavors.  They seem to have come up with a full proof plan, with the help of the cooperative buyer, to ensure that the account would be hers with little repercussions and lower risks.  All was left then was for her to decide, knowing that she has a lesser chance of getting caught with their newly hatched plan.

Turning point

She went home that night as she does each time there is an exhibit, but this time with a heavy heart. She was crying all the way in the taxi to her home in Consolacion, but she didn't understand why. She just felt heavy inside despite the fact that an opportunity has come knocking on her door. She kept crying all the way to the room until she ran out of tears.  It was then that things became clearer to her.

She cried for Jay's loss.  The money could also be his. He may also have his own problems which will need some financial solution.  But most importantly, she cried about what she would lose herself should she push through with the transaction.  She had hundreds of thousands of pesos to gain. But she would lose face, lose some friends, lose the trust of others, and most importantly lose her faith in herself.

She decides to call Jay and tell him about the client's plan to turn over the account to him. Just the decision itself was enough to take the pin that was constantly pushing in Sheena's heart.  She was totally relieved to let go of the account and tell herself it is not hers and was never meant to be hers.

The reward

To her surprise, Jay was very grateful and generous. He said he preferred that Sheena push through with the transaction and put it under her name so that she can claim it under her performance.  They will just split the commission in half.

It turns out, Jay was victimized several times by unscrupulous sellers who have taken sales away from him unjustly. He was so grateful someone like Sheena came along and wanted to reward such a noble act.  Besides, he had less need for the money as a big opportunity was coming his way.  In the end, by letting go of the account, Sheena was freed from her psychological burden and in fact gained financially, free of guilt, from her decision.

Sheena also earned the trust of her colleagues (even those who were against the idea) who praised her for her decision and was amazed by the outcome.  Sheena is glad she did not decide otherwise, else she would have lived in fear of being caught and would have had to tell several lies just to ensure the transaction.  Sheena continues to join exhibits, now with less fear that those from the other agencies would supplant her transactions after making the first step in building trust among sellers.

Ethical sales

As Sheena's experience shows, honesty in sales is possible, and it could be rewarding financially and psychologically.  For the buyer, a culture of trust and generosity will yield less complaints, more satisfaction, and may increase sales overall as well.

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