Good, bad, and perfect salesmen

Assume with me for the rest of this post that the number of sales a salesman makes is all that matters… and more is better. If you can’t make that assumption, stop reading now.


Okay, if you’re still reading and following that assumption, you get three kinds of salesmen:

  1. Bad salesman: He lies and gets caught
  2. Good salesman: He doesn’t lie and doesn’t get caught
  3. Perfect salesman: He lies but doesn’t get caught

The bad salesman is bad because he might make a lot of sales up front, but he develops a reputation for lying and as a result doesn’t make many sales in the long run.

The good salesman is good because even though he might not make many sales up front, he never develops a lying reputation and as a result sells more in the long run.

The perfect salesman, though, has the best of both worlds. The perfect salesman is perfect because he makes lots of sales up front and, because he’s never caught lying, continues to make a ton of sales in the long run too.

Now, it’s pretty debatable whether or not it’s even possible to be that perfect salesman, to lie but never get caught. But given the potential rewards, maybe you can see why the incentive pushes salesmen to try it.

Whether it’s possible or not, though, I’m guessing that “salesmen lying to become perfect salesmen” still doesn’t appeal to you. Why is that?

Answer: you broke the assumption we made in the beginning. <<Does that mean you lied?