7 years ago
September 21, 2017

4 Unethical Sales Practices That Will Damage Your Brand

Unethical sales practices are one of the main factors that give sales professionals and recruiters a bad name. All it takes is one sales rep to engage in shady sales…

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Unethical sales practices are one of the main factors that give sales professionals and recruiters a bad name. All it takes is one sales rep to engage in shady sales tactics to cause significant damage to your brand. Especially if they are doing it to one of your major customers.

Word will get around about unethical sales practices, and it can hurt your ability to attract new business, keep your current clients, and meet your sales goals.

How much will it hurt? Research from Mintel found that 56% of consumers stop buying from companies they believe are unethical. So, if your sales reps are perceived as using unethical sales practices, your company may be perceived the same way.

Here are 4 unethical sales practices that will damage client relationships and risk your brand reputation:

1. Making promises you know you can’t keep

Never make promises that you know you will not be able to keep. This often happens when sales reps promise a specific delivery date, product volume, or service capability. Making a promise you know won’t hold up will only damage your relationship with the customer. It’s a lose-lose situation. Honesty is always the best policy. Only promise what you can deliver.

2. Not fully disclosing information

Knowingly not disclosing important information included in your contract with your customers is shady. Customers do business based on what is outlined in the contract. If you omit information when agreeing to contract terms, you can catch them off guard and hurt their business, not to mention doing damage to your relationship with them.

3. Misrepresenting your products and services

Some believe that a little white lie won’t hurt anyone. But it can and it will. Misrepresenting a product or service can help you close a deal in the short term. It will also hurt your relationships with your customers and make them think twice about renewing their contract.

4. Pushy, unethical sales practices

Perhaps one of the most commonly cited unethical practices is being pushy. Trying to close a sale at all costs is not only unethical, it puts unnecessary pressure on the customer, forcing them to make a quick decision that could hurt their business. Even though you may close the deal, it can hurt your long-term ability to turn that transaction into repeat business.


Learn more about how to approach sales the right way by reading these tips from sales recruiters:

5 Fatal Sales Mistakes You Should Avoid

5 Effective Ways to Retain Customers


SalesForce Search is a sales recruiting company which specializes in the recruitment and placement of sales professionals. We recruit sales people in every sector of the economy including, software, manufacturing, financial services and medical devices. Find the right sales person for your organization, start your search here.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.