Consult Carson: “My boss said it’s OK to cheat. What do I do?”

From today’s mailbag: “Lots of people in my department cheat and add services to customers’ accounts they know nothing about. Even my boss has indicated that this is common and they would look the other way if I did this to boost numbers. I can’t believe I’m even considering it to be able to compete and earn a bonus. What should I do about this?”

Carson: Cheating is a line that – once crossed – there is no way back.  You’re tainted.  Trust me, I can tell you that you can be the best without cheating.  These times are temporary, cheaters will be exposed eventually and when the dust settles, you’ll be the one standing proudly behind real numbers.

Look at major league baseball as a prime example.  Those who have cheated over the last couple of decades posted inflated numbers and celebrated false victories in the moment.  But, after all that’s said and done, how do we currently view these fallen heroes?  They will never make it into the Hall of Fame, their legacies are destroyed, and they are a punchline.

If any manager tells you to cheat or condones cheating, they are weak and an extremely poor leader.  They, too, will eventually find their way out of the business, believe me.  Sales results are all about people and process.  If you are struggling in any key metric of your bonus plan or your compensation, look at the reasons why customers are declining.  Look to people who are being successful without cheating and find out what they do.  Birds of a feather flock together – link up with the winners in your department and share best practices.

Unfortunately, doing things the right way and living a career of integrity can often be a lonely road.  You will see accolades and praise given for people that are completely undeserving and will be flavor-of-the-month folks who throw up phony numbers.  A career is a body of work.  You don’t have to be #1 every month, and – frankly – sometimes you have to keep your head down and nose clean and do your job while everything else takes care of itself of its own volition.

The moral of the story: Never, never, never cheat.  There are a variety of ways to produce results in any metric without cheating; learn best practices from others.  Analyze your process to ensure you are asking the right fact finding questions to form enough return on investment ammunition to pitch the product and overcome any objections, and, if your own boss is not going to be a resource, seek counseling from others on your coaching needs and career.

It is frustrating to watch others be praised in an arena you cannot currently compete in – but that’s the very reason that when you earn the accolades you desire and deserve, the victory will be that much sweeter.  You will have proven you did it the right way and 5-10 years down the road when you’re doing something else you want to do or you’re running the department, the lessons you’ve learned and the experiences you are gaining now will be invaluable.


Carson V. Heady posts for “Consult Carson” serving as the “Dear Abby” of sales and sales leadership.  You may post any question that puzzles you regarding sales and sales leadership careers: interviewing, the sales process, advancing and achieving.  You will also be directly contributing to his third book, “A Salesman Forever.”

Question submissions can be made via LinkedIn to Carson V. Heady, this Facebook page: , Twitter via @cvheady007 or e-mail at or you may post an anonymous comment as a reply to my WordPress blog at the bottom of this page:

Carson V. Heady has written a book entitled “Birth of a Salesman” that has a unique spin that shows you proven sales principles designed to birth in you the top producer you were born to be.

If you would like to strengthen your sales skills, go to

About cvheady007

I am a Christian, Husband, Dad, workaholic and author. Biography Carson Vincent Heady was born in Cape Girardeau, MO, graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and moved to St. Louis in 2001. He has served in sales and leadership across Microsoft, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. Carson is best-selling author of the Birth of a Salesman series, the first book of which was published by World Audience Inc. in 2010. He released The Salesman Against the World in 2014, A Salesman Forever in 2016 and Salesman on Fire in 2020. He is also featured in Scott Ingram’s B2B Sales Mentors: 20 Stories from 20 Top 1% Sales Professionals. Carson is a 7-time CEO/President’s Club winner across 5 roles at AT&T and Microsoft and National Verizon Rockstar winner. He has been recognized as a top social seller at Microsoft and is consistently ranked in the top 25 sales gurus in the world on Rise Global. He is included among the Top 50 sales authors on LinkedIn. With over 330K social followers, Carson has also been interviewed on over 30 sales and leadership podcasts, by such luminaries as Jeffrey & Jennifer Gitomer, Jeb Blount, Brandon Bornancin, Sam Dunning, Larry Levine, Darrell Amy, Scott Ingram, Thierry van Herwijnen, Jim Brown, Sam Jacobs, Luigi Prestinenzi, Donald Kelly, Marylou Tyler, George Leith, Pat Helmer, Eric Nelson, Ron Tunick, Jeff Arthur, Mary Ann Samedi, Jean Oursler, Andre Harrell, Marlene Chism, Bill Crespo, Matt Tanguay, Josh Wheeler and Chad Bostick. He has also co-hosted the Smart Biz Show on EG Marketing Radio. His articles have appeared in several noteworthy publications such as SalesGravy, Smash! Sales, Salesopedia and the Baylor Sports Department S3 Report. Carson lives in St. Louis, MO, with his wife Amy and daughters Madison, Sidonia and Charlotte.
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