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Sunday, June 10, 2012

AdilanClub: Sell my body? It's not worth it

Sulaiman Kamal | 8:45 PM | | Best Blogger Tips

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Sex sells. And not just in the sales line.

In every industry, there will be those who use their good looks to seal a deal, but they are a minority, said Miss Fei Wong, an assistant director of sales at a hotel chain here.

Yesterday, Peter Benedict Lim Sin Pang, former head of Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), was slapped with 10 charges of allegedly obtaining sexual favours from three women in exchange for favouring the women's firms in IT-related tenders called by the SCDF.

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Miss Wong, 32, believes that there are a small number of women who would go beyond their pretty faces to seal a business deal.

"It's always the minority who gives a bad name to the industry. It happens everywhere, not just in sales," she said.

She added that it is not surprising that women in senior sales positions often get accused of sleeping their way up.

Worked hard

A Singapore permanent resident, Miss Wong, who has been in the sales industry for the past 12 years, has had her fair share of accusations thrown at her pretty face.

But she doesn't give two hoots about them.

"I've worked hard to be in my current position. I've spent a lot of time cultivating my business contacts, many of whom eventually became my good friends," she said.

"When it comes to business, we draw a clear line and keep things at a professional level... I don't need to sell my body to get the sales."

But has she ever received any propositions from her clients?

It was only after much persuasion that Miss Wong revealed that in her early years in sales, a married general manager of a multi-national corporation had offered to take care of her sales portfolio and monthly expenses if she agreed to date him.

She turned down the offer.

"It's silly to accept such offers. I'm serious about building my career," she said.

"How sustainable would it be for someone to sleep her way up and risk losing her reputation and credibility in the profession?

"It just isn't worth it."

While Miss Wong doesn't understand why some are willing to make such sacrifices for a business deal, she said she has noticed how some companies offer very attractive incentives to their sales team for hitting their targets.

"I have a friend whose boss told him that if he met his sales target, the boss would give him the downpayment for a BMW," she said.

"He did, and he got his Beemer. In a few short years, he now owns a Beemer, an Audi and a Mini Cooper."

Miss Wong also knows of a company that offers its sales executives an additional month's salary on top of their sales commission if they hit their targets for three consecutive months.

"These sales executives could easily be earning more than $10,000 a month," she added.

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