by Alice Alessandri & Alberto Aleo
The long wait is over! After almost two years of hard work, our first publication Sales Ethics is now in the shops. The book describes how to become a successful salesperson while remaining true to your values and being great at what you do thanks to these values. Sales Ethics is published by Business Expert Press and if you can’t wait to get your copy you can do so now by clicking here. We’re tired but happy with the result, and want to share with you some of the reflections we made along the way; writing a book is indeed an adventure that leads you to explore a range of emotions and feelings. Writing together with another person increases your commitment and gives you practice in acquiring greater tolerance and flexibility. At the end of our journey, we found we were no longer the same people we had been at the outset – we were even closer and more determined. So, as a dear friend reminded us, this book is a “gift” that we have made to each other and that we now want to share with you.
TIPS WHEN WRITING A BOOK
Writing a book is like educating a child: you want to use everything you know and have learned over time to enhance its growth; there’s a mechanism whereby you refuse to accept compromise or lower your standards, knowing that if you shirk your responsibility you endanger the outcome. But to make sure you are not starting out on a never-ending work-in-progress, we suggest you compile a publishing plan, starting from the table of contents and working systematically through the topics. Your bibliography should be drawn up as early as possible. We used it to define the scope of the knowledge and the skills within which we wanted to work. As good salespeople, we also verified our target and fixed our goals, in this case not just economic objectives, but also what we hoped to learn and the knowledge we wanted to pass on to our readers. So, we actually drew up a marketing plan that was to serve us well when we left for Boston in search of inspiration and collaboration.
BUSINESS ETHICS IN ITALY AND UNITED STATES
How described here, to complete this work we spent four months in Boston. Why? The theories and techniques related to Business Ethics, which our book examines as regards the customer-seller relationship, have been taught in the US since the 70s. Our idea was to merge the Italian approach to relationships with the American approach to customers, and from this blend an innovative approach emerged that aroused the interest of an extremely innovative and perceptive publisher. In fact, following the book’s success on the Italian market, Business Expert Press decided to bring out Sales Ethics in English for the international market as part of the series Giving Voice to Values directed by our American mentor Mary Gentile, Professor at Babson College in Boston, to whom we will be forever indebted. In addition to finding a publisher, we also met some extraordinary people in Boston that were generous with advice, suggestions and assistance and contributed much to Sales Ethics: the Dean of Harvard Rakesh Khurana, James Hoopes of Babson College, Leigh Hafrey of the Sloan Business School at MIT and Tony Buono and Mike Hoffman lecturers at the Center for Business Ethics at the University of Bentley. How did we manage it? Simply by contacting them via email and telling them our story and outlining our project; so if you don’t yet believe in the American dream we can change your mind, as we have become part of it!
But why did we choose this particular theme? Because we firmly believe that to move beyond the crisis it is necessary to renew the pact of trust between customer and seller – to place sales back at the centre of the activities of any enterprise and make them attractive to a “new generation” that currently considers selling as a job merely to fall back on. Many speak of ‘Win-Win’ situations and respect for the customer, but we have seen very little material that actually explains the meaning of these terms and how they apply specifically to business. If we talk about ethics as though they were merely theoretical, they become no more than the “icing on the cake”: they might dress up our sales relationships, but they are considered superfluous or even counterproductive in our struggle to survive! We have tracked down economic theories, negotiating strategies, marketing principles and case studies that rehabilitate ethics, transforming them into an economic and negotiating tool on which to base the daily action of each seller. Our approach is what the Americans call “bottom-up”, with ethics becoming an essential ingredient of professional success.
We have now concluded our first project: the book is on the desk and we can still hardly believe that this dream has come true. The contents are so well blended, consistent and inspired that we are tempted to say, “we can’t have done this alone.” In fact, we want to think of this book as the result of serious team-work, created and developed thanks to those who inspired us, listened to us and supported us on both sides of the Atlantic. Thanks also to you readers, Sales Ethics will inspire action that will help us all to create shared value. So – welcome to our project!
P.S. Click here, you can download the Covenant of the Ethical Salesperson, a fundamental part of the book. Enjoy the book!
| partem claram semper aspice |
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Passodue research on issues related to sales, marketing, ethics and the centrality of human beings within the market logic, officially started in 2012. The results derived from our work are described in the publications and in the books you can find in this section.
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[…] unsuited to the current economic scenario. From our point of view, and as we argued widely in our book, selling is an activity that unfolds over time and is made up of moments related to each other, all […]