Book Reviews

What Readers Are Saying About

Selling Ethically

A Light Read that Resulted in Deep Thinking – While reading this book my first thought was the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Like the movie, this book covers (the book’s protagonist), David King’s business and personal life for the purpose of teaching a moral lesson. In this case, the importance of being ethical in business, which can only happen if you are also ethical in your personal life. Again, like the movie, God and angels are used to help bring home this message. It is obvious that Joel used his real-life experiences to write this book and by doing so, make it an interesting read. Since I finished the book in a single sitting, this goal was obviously accomplished. I would recommend this book for those in and/or studying business as a help to understand the importance of being ethical in their business dealings.

Sam Friedman


Not Just a Parable, but a Practical Guide to Profiting Ethically – Selling Ethically is written as a parable, but it is in fact more than simply a story. It is in fact based on the life of Sales and Ethics expert Joel Malkoff’s life. And his trials and struggles with understanding ethics and coming to grips with understanding that by selling and marketing ethically he may lose the immediate sale, but will win a lifetime of clients, referrals, and loyalty. When reading this book, I quickly realized that the lessons fell out of the story. They were meant to challenge the reader and beg them to answer the question am I acting with integrity when it comes to selling or am I trying to manipulate the buyer? One of the key takeaways from the book is the lesson of stopping the phrase “let the buyer beware”, and instead “let the seller beware” that he needs to be honest, upfront, and completely transparent. It is a paradigm shift for sure, but one when embraced will lead to better profits and more restful sleep.

Jay Izso


Good Book – I just finished reading the book and thought very highly of it. There is an awful lot to learn from it, full of important ideas for us all, full of wisdom. Couching it all in the form of a parable was an excellent idea, delivering its important messages by readily drawing the reader into the “story,” and greatly lessening the possibility that it might come across as an off-putting moralistic lecture (which it doesn’t, not at all). I think the best thing about it is that everything Malkoff spoke of applies not just to the world of salesmanship, but actually to all of us in our everyday interactions and relationships. May ethical ideals and principles forever guide us all! Reading the book brought to mind a passage from the Pirkei Avot (Sayings of Our Fathers): “Which is the path of virtue a person should follow? -That which brings honor to one’s Maker, as well as respect from one’s fellow human beings.

Amazon Customer 


Excellent and extremely well written! – Excellent! Well written with real life examples of the challenges faced when attempting to conduct oneself ethically not only in one’s personal life, but more importantly in their professional one. Also reassuring to be told that past missteps don’t doom us forever and that we are all given room to learn and grow. Grateful for the opportunity to read this book.

Amazon Customer 


Exceptional Read – First off, may I say how impressed I was with your book. I read through it twice and enjoyed hearing the audio rendition. To say it really sounded like “your voice” is an understatement. With that said, I do think that you brought to life some real examples of questionable ethics in the workplace. … your writing has opened my mind and heart. If you are starting in your career, consider whether your personal ethic aligns with potential employers. Joel Malkoff takes the time to share true examples of subtle and not-so subtle deception in business. We all choose to do things with the concept of serving others but $$$ and corporate culture get in the way. Reading this book will help you to affirm your own personal ethic and with eyes-wide-open, you could find employers who satisfy your urge to align your values with their own. There are good companies out there. Don’t cave in. Take a stand and make a difference. Joel Malkoff will inspire you to consider the less traveled path!

Roland J. Perreault


Practicing good ethics professionally is a very important guideline to conducting a good business – I listened to your audiobook last night. It’s so true how ethics, morals, and our spiritual lives are so intertwined, but it seems as though not many people think that way any longer. It’s nice to know that no matter at what age we are, it’s never too late to learn ethics. The narrator was very good. As for the plot I was pleasantly surprised that you wrote it in the context of being as a judgement day before the heavenly judges (angels). Having David deep soul searching and realizing that having good ethics can and will make better business choices to not only prosper financially but also morally. It teaches that the unethical way of doing business has many bad repercussions and can change many lives. I strongly believe in teaching children about ethics and morals… My only comment is that I think you should write a children’s version as well, but with their world of understanding it. I honestly enjoyed listening to it… I see it as both a very strong business parable and nonfiction as well. Approaching it in a business sense it shows having a good ethical behavior does bring better customer relationships, which in turn makes it’s more profitable. On the nonfiction side of it, it shows how David=Joel, the reality of it.

Caterina Cristiano


A parable that teaches deeply – Joel Malkoff’s parable is a warm-hearted story that illustrates in a story format how we can easily slide away from ethical behavior in this very competitive capitalist economy, and how we can adjust our behavior with a shift in perspective. The framework allows us to enter the story easily, and – a bit like the story of Scrooge reviewing his past from a new perspective – to observe how the main character felt pressured into making decisions and behaving in ways that were not fully ethical. It’s an easy read and very enjoyable. I highly recommend it! And especially the audiobook version!

Becky Parker Geist


Learn from the experience of another – Wisdom is a gift. A grandfather’s time capsule buried deep within a child’s mind. David is a salesman. He does what everyone does, he tries to get by. In time something inside him informs him of the virtue of his path and his consciousness and accountability is raised. The subtle balance between right and wrong is wrought from the imperceptible and ignored. Every action has a consequence and our ability to shape the world in the image of our creator is a willful measure of both soul and sensitivity. “Selling Ethically” is an opportunity to walk in another man’s shoes and to consider an important opportunity intrinsic to free will. It is a vicarious and rational exercise in self-judgment that will resonate with the self-interested, benefit the thoughtful, and support the motives of grandfathers everywhere to leave this world better than it was found. My gratitude to the author.

Russell Ulbrich


An informative work of art on selling – This book is a great addition to your business reference materials. The author is very clear and to the point. The text is well thought out and easy to read while delivering a full amount of helpful information on being ethical in today’s world. I appreciate the real-life, practical examples this book offers. After reading this book, I have personally found it beneficial in sharing with my adult children, friends, family members, and even co-workers. This book is the perfect guide for all stages in business whether you are a top sales executive or just starting your career. This isn’t the same old stuff being written on ethics in business. This book chooses practical and relatable examples and vocabulary to guide readers along in their journey. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to be a better human.

Heidi Clark


Essential advice for anyone in sales – Sales are so fraught today with charlatans and scammers. It is hard to wade through the morass of predators, the one-shot deal types, the hucksters. Relationships are paramount as in the old maxim that it can take five years to build a relationship and five minutes to lose it. This book is right on target with its integrity and truth based on the author’s personal experiences. That is why it deserves to sell very well.

Anthony C. Crouch


Great book that really drives home the importance of ethical selling! – I really enjoyed this book. It is a great read and keeps the reader engaged. It helped me to really take a look at how I conduct myself in business and question how I can do better going forward. It gives a variety of new and different perspectives on different selling techniques and really drives home the point of how important ethical selling is. I highly recommend this for anyone involved in sales or anyone just trying to live their life more ethically in general. The message is an important one and encourages you to be more ethical not only in business, but in all aspects of your life!

Amazon Reader


Provides clear and very practical ethical guidance, yet never preachy or judgmental – Selling Ethically presents an impressive variety of ethically challenging selling practices, presented through the eyes of an experienced salesman looking back at pitches he has made throughout his long career. The enthusiastic seller is a sympathetic figure throughout, ensuring that the book never becomes preachy or judgmental in tone; but the author ensures that the mature judgment of the narrator leaves the reader with clear and explicit criteria for telling right from wrong. The ethical criteria are drawn from traditional Jewish sources, but the religiously inspired sources are always a source of illumination to enlighten, never a cudgel to chastise.

Asher M.


Finally, selling ethically – In these times of business leaders and politicians without a shred of an ethical core, comes Joel Malkoff who argues that ethical behavior is at the heart of true leadership and success. Mr. Malkoff writes from in-the-foxhole experience, giving his book a refreshing view.

Douglas Caldwell


Wonderful example of the importance of selling ethically – Selling Ethically is a wonderful example of the importance of making good business choices. As a business or salesperson will you look back at your life and be happy with all the choices you made? This book provides a young salesman the opportunity to contemplate the business decisions he made over many years. It also sheds light on the importance of maintaining a spiritual connection with a higher power. I highly recommend this book as a quick read for any person in sales. It offers proof that in every business decision making sure you are ethical to both your customers and associates brings the biggest rewards.

Michelle D.


Fun, engaging, and thought provoking – Selling Ethically provides context and clear delineation of right and wrong in many of the situations we face every day. It is well written, provides the reader with important reminders that we are the choices we make, and hopefully we can be proud of those choices. It’s also an engaging story. It’s A+!

Brian Dev.


Great book for salespeople Nice job! As I look back on my career, I see a similar path to improvement as I rose in positions. Your interactions with the court were delightful entertaining and enlightening. I have worked in a few very large companies throughout my career. I have seen the deception firsthand. Before the demise of those companies, I saw the signs of greed and underhanded practices.

Frank CT


Good ethics is good business – The author uses a parable to teach that one who wishes to live a meaningful life must be ethical in his/her business dealings. In fact, the first question the Heavenly Court asks the protagonist of the book, business executive David King, is about the honesty of his business dealings.

H. Friedman


Good Read for Salespeople and Sales Leaders As a sales leader for a Fortune 500 company, I have tried to make sure my team understands the importance of ethics and compliance when dealing with customers. This book creatively gets the same point across, and I would encourage anyone in sales to read it and sell ethically in their own world.

Andy Clement


A relatable “coming of wisdom” story – The author’s semi-autobiographical story, written as a parable, provides a real-world example of a “coming of wisdom” story. It’s an introspective look at one’s career in business and the wisdom gained from successes and failures. It asks the reader to evaluate each real-life scenario, and while the final conclusions leave some room for debate, the value lies in the critical analysis of each presentation made by the angelic prosecution and defense. Part business/sales book, part A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Selling Ethically is an enjoyable, relatable parable into business ethics.

Anonymous Reader


It’s good business to be ethical The author shares a parable about living a business ethical life. Supposedly the vignette’s inside the parable reflect some personal experiences of the author. Solid examples of dilemmas sales reps get themselves into in both B2B and B2C. Author keeps hammering home the lost business and lost profits due to short term unethical choices. Without giving away details, engaging tale about real-world challenges.

Patrick Helmers


This book is a must read – This is an outstanding and necessary book about ethics in our workplace and in the selling process. I love the message and the way it is written. If you are a fan of “The Traveler’s Gift” by Andy Andrews, then you will love this book. They are equally entertaining and educational. Get a copy. Read it. Digest it. And put it within arm’s reach because you will want to reference it again and again!

Earl Breon


Big things come in small packages – Selling Ethically has more wisdom and guidance packed into its pages than books twice its size. Joel’s parable is easy to read, and the lessons in the story are incredible. This should be required reading for anyone who is starting a career in sales, and highly recommended for those of us who lead sales organizations.



Always doing what’s right = larger long-term profits For business owners looking to create a business that endure, Malkoff’s parable shares an approach to sales where success is the result of always doing the right thing. He calls it business ethics, but it’s even simpler than that. He’s playing a different game than we see from most salespeople. Malkoff’s success is built by putting others in front of himself and forging long term personal relationships. It’s both a meaningful and profitable way to conduct business.

Joshua Gottfried


Well worth the read From a business point of view, it’s the only way you can develop a long-term relationship with people. If you are looking to grow your business, you need ethics and integrity from Joel Malkoff – great advice from the book. must read, I highly enjoyed it.

Jim Beach


When the role of Ethics becomes a partner in productivity A creative, thought provoking, and timely achievement that captures and captivates, Joel Malkoff’s extensive acumen in the world of competitive business is presented in parable form in the light of ethics and how it’s overreaching emphasis will increase reputation, respectability, and revenue. An enjoyable as well as educational read, this book will foster self-reflection and challenge to a variety of career choices. A stunning and timely effort!

Diane M. Lieberfarb


A very thoughtful book – The author uses a very interesting “device” to remind readers of the importance of ethical business practices and that ethical business practices have a strong basis in Jewish law. While I am Jewish, I think that people of all faiths will be able to relate to the content. Much of what he discusses is valuable to everyday life so even if you’re not in business, it’s a worthwhile read. The audio book runs a little over three hours and includes an interview with the author.



An Easy Read. Well Written With Deep Thinking. A Must Read – Another Reviewer had pegged it right. While reading this book my first thought was the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The importance of being ethical in business, which can only happen if you are also ethical in your personal life. I liked the journey Mr. King went through. In some form or another, we can take his experience and apply it in our lives. That is what I liked most about it.

Kindle User CT


Great for everyone in a business, especially the sales force! – I bought the Kindle version. I enjoyed your … err… David’s story. I think the topic is extraordinarily relevant, especially as companies have become stressed under the pandemic and the economic pressures around it. There is nothing like a stressor to show the true metal. As many of our vendors have been acquired, it has been interesting to see the sales pitch and promises change.

Ron Trotto


Powerful and thought provoking– yet an easy read! – Selling Ethically made it to the top of the pile and I just read it. I LOVED it! What a great story! It really was a treat!

Sharon E.


Ethical Behavior Applied Broadly – Enjoyed reading book. What the author wrote about can be applied to all aspects of business life, not just selling. I can personally relate to this from my career in finance when faced with ethical challenges unrelated to selling products. While Joel Malkoff was inspired by Jewish principles he learned from rabbis, the messages and themes throughout the book are relevant and applicable to everyone, regardless of religious beliefs.

Dave Diamond


A must read for everyone who cares about personal and business integrity – Joel Malkoff wrote a compelling, well-written parable tying in business ethics with the building of long-term customer relationship– to yield sustainable profits. A must read for everyone who cares about personal and business integrity. A great story! 

David Lewis


No ethics, no trust, no growth – This is a must-read book for every sales professional. There is no trust without ethics.

Gerhard Gschwandtner


Can you be a better person? – Whether or not you are a person of faith, this book will give you pause to examine your dealings in many aspects of your life. I believe it will encourage you to think a little more before acting in an unfavorable way. Acting in the interest of others is a lesson that should never be overlooked.

Laura Stawicki


Great Book I read your book on Sunday and truly enjoyed it. It was a quick easy read with a lot of morals to each part of your life. It seems your life-long experiences taught and guided you with each job change to grow and learn to be successful honestly. The story not only taught you about ethics it also taught personal morals.

Cindy Lundgren


Highly recommended for teams and individuals! Through Selling Ethically, the author makes the intersection of business, selling, and ethics easy to understand and apply in everyday business (and personal life). Highly recommended for those in business and/or who are in the business of selling.

Amazon Customer


You should read it twice! – Excellent, thought-provoking book, there is definitely a need for the kind of thought-provoking ideas and examples in this handbook, I call it a handbook because it is the kind of book that you go back to, read again, tab and make notes, and SHARE. An absolute read.

Linda B. Meyers


Worthy of the read Your book is very insightful. I wish I would have had access to it while I was working at some of my jobs as a guide on how to respond. I think your book could have a huge impact, giving the opportunity for your readers to evaluate their own actions during the sales process and refuse to act unethically.

Katie Vollrath


Easy Read – Interesting narrative that explores the importance of having integrity and being true to yourself. Recommended for any person working in sales.

Amazon Customer


A great story is a great way to learn – I listened to the audio version which made my morning walks more productive. When listening to the real-life story presented in the book, it made me think about the ongoing situations I face daily in my career. It flowed nicely and felt extremely relevant. This is a fantastic business book.

Chris Deon


Great book – I loved the insight from Joel! Having worked with Joel, he truly walks his walk. He is a high integrity man who knows a great deal about ethical sales.

Andrew G.


So important for our times A very interesting and timely read! During the pandemic we realized how important ethics, communication, and community are. This book continues the conversation into the realm of business. Ethics are so important… why shouldn’t we have moral standards in all our business dealings!

Alison Demarest


Thoughtfully presented lessons on doing business Joel offers some fascinating insights and lessons learned during his long and successful career in sales across a broad range of industries. Rather than dry anecdotes, these are presented in a cohesive narrative format. The interview with the author is also entertaining!



Quick and enjoyable read in doing business the right way! – A wonderful, thoughtful, and well written story of a man’s journey in finding the best path personally and professionally, through insightfulness and morality!

Amazon Customer


A good book to make you rethink selling I appreciated how Joel cast a different light on many typical sales practices. It made me reconsider various positions that I took for granted. This book is worth a read for anyone in business and particularly people in sales.



Living an honorable life – In weaving the life in sales of a business executive, Joel Malkoff sets forth business lessons though ethics to improve profits. His parables make for easy reading and instructions through moral and spiritual examples of the growth of a sales executive.

Steven M. Zelman


How important is to be honest in business I really enjoyed reading this book. I felt the author was very genuine with his delivering his story and made such great points. I believe that any businessperson should read this book.

Rivka Dvorin


Caring for your clients and have their best interest – The book was so intense and interesting. One can learn so much from this book. Especially when you were in this field. Ethical marketing and selling allows you to build more sales.  I too was in sales most of my career and wish I had Joel’s book. I recommend this book as a learning process for all.

Burt Wanatick


Quick and easy read/listen – A most enjoyable parable that points out our unintended foibles and shares the wisdom of the sages. Selling Ethically… causes a businessperson to reflect on their own past and contemplate their legacy.

Kindle Customer


The influence of Jewish ethical teachings on business practices is clearly delineated in this book – I read it practically in one sitting. It was a fascinating account of ethics and business that I really appreciated.

Francine Stier


Fabulous and Important Book – Wonderful book on importance of ethics in workplace. A must read and a great gift for employees and bosses.

Amazon Customer


Great, interesting book – This book was really well written and very interesting. It really shows how your actions can affect others without being preachy. I recommended it to my adult children.

Donna R.


A small dose of big wisdom – Joel’s parable conveys a message we can all take to heart, as we’re all salespeople in some aspect of our lives. Read, ponder, and recommend. Thanks Joel!

Eric Lewis


An inspirational journey into both personal and business motivations and practices – I was moved by Mr. Malkoff’s transparency of life experiences and hard lessons. He wrote this book with wisdom and from the soul, a true inspiration.

Amazon Reader


Good read – A very interesting representation of a businessman and his journey through ethical selling.

Amazon Reader


Good read! – Just finished the book. Couldn’t put it down until I finished it! Well written!

Stephanie T.


You merged the realms of ethics and business in a way that makes any sensitive reader or listener wonder how indeed they approach their daily lives. And the Jewish elements here are so beautifully emphasized.

Jim Rosen


Selling Ethically: A Business Parable Connecting Integrity with Profits. I love the title, especially the play on words in the sub-title. I love the cover, and most of all, the content. You spoke from the heart. I look forward to seeing your guidebook because it can only add to the joy of learning ethics. Thanks so much for being our teacher! Excellent job! 

Roberta Buland


Selling Ethically: A Business Parable Connecting Integrity with Profits is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the new way of business and doing it well. Written as a parable, Joel Malkoff combines real-world examples and practical advice to help executives build competitive advantage with a higher level of teamwork and operational efficiency. He stands on honesty and integrity, while at the same time offering practical, proven ways in which to effectively build profits for any size company.

Brian Jud


The parable says as much about you and your character as does the story you tell. I never made my living in sales but the ethical life you write about is a lesson for anyone regardless of occupation.

Arnie Goldstein


It is an easy and ENJOYABLE read. It is wonderful, a lot to discuss.



Your book is fantastic! It is really packed with many important Torah (life) lessons. The part that hit me the most is the reminder that life is short, and don’t trade such a short-term gain for something everlasting.



It is powerful! Thank you!



I was at once taken by its spirituality yet direct, plain-spoken style. I was thoroughly engrossed from start to finish, fascinated by how the author meshed business practices with true religiosity. For decades I have been fascinated by the balance between capital and labor and Selling Ethically seemed, to me, to be an extension of that relationship. I recall when the Polartec factory in Malden MA burned down and its CEO was surprised that business leaders thought he was a fool to support its workers and to rebuild, but he was quoted in all manner of media saying that what he was trying to do should not be seen as unusual; that it was the right thing to do. I think Selling Ethically is a great contribution to ending the term “salesy” as a pejorative when discussing businesspeople.  And the parable shows how conscientious and moral, clear-thinking mentors can help show the way to do good and to do very well. I congratulate you for your effort and attention required to undertake this work.

Anonymous Reader 


I do think it is well written and certainly original. I wondered (of course–but then this is a question you don’t have to answer) whether any of the example are autobiographical and if you had an awakening at some point, or whether these are examples you simply know about after so many years in business. I also went to your website and was impressed!

Ruth Crispin


I read it last weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. With my history, working in health care and education, I had many opportunities to question ethics. In these days, it’s difficult to argue ethics. Everyone wants to focus on the money rather than the larger picture of doing the right thing. I think your book should be a must read for students. It was a great read.

Catherine C.


Grow your business with Ethics – I found it thought provoking and stimulating. I’ve read it twice. It brought up memories from my selling experience. I wish I could have read it 20 years ago. I could have saved some big sales and important customers. I thought it was well-written, showing the thought behind it.

Amazon Reader


The right book at the right moment/ Starved for ethical behavior – In the past year, we’ve all been starved for stories that underscore the power of ethical behavior in life situations. To me, this short book felt like a refreshing drink of water. Through one simple parable, Malkoff reminds us that there are people who care about living out their values in every aspect of their daily lives, and who have also learned that ethical behavior makes good business sense.

Holly Brady


The fun, engaging story of this book made it so enjoyable to read, while still providing concrete insights into business ethics. So much more enjoyable than a typical business book. Definitely worth the read!

Michelle Dev.


Speaking about the book. It’s also a religious experience.

Richard Dias


I really did enjoy your book. Good luck with spreading the message of ethical business practices. It is an important message that people really need to hear.

Samantha Macias


I truly am enjoying your book! I really feel that I know you so much better now and find it very interesting how you became the great success that you are today.  You are a true inspiration and I thank you for sharing your experiences.

Dianne Couture


Ethical Sales

I have to give Joel a golden star for using his imagination of connecting the heavens to earth in a biblical manner but incorporate business and ethics all at once. While reading, I kept going back to my own experiences and the “gut feelings” I experienced when learning to sell on a professional manner. This book truly makes you think of your own behaviors and how can you go on in the right direction selling ethically.

John E (Bernadeta Eichner) on Amazon


I truly enjoyed reading it… The quotes at the beginning of each chapter nicely set the tone… Being a fairly religious person, I have to give Joel a golden star for using his imagination of connecting the heavens to earth in a biblical manner but incorporate business and ethics all at once. While reading, I kept going back to my own experiences of when things didn’t seem right. The gut feelings that we all have often are the right and ethical once but the pressure to please and perform might often override that feeling. Joel’s book definitely opens up the reader’s eyes in terms of deciding which way to go when you try to make a sale. I agree with Joel and believe that the “Chief Justices” in heaven are watching and keep us accountable for our actions. I’m a religious catholic and trying to obey by the rules, laws, policies, procedures and simply do what is right. However, life is much more complicated and none of us are perfect. Joel’s book points that out and clearly tells us that it’s appropriate to have imperfections as long as we do the right things in our professional lives. He does convey the message that it’s something that we can control on a professional and business level. Being ethical totally multiplies the sales and long-term business relationships.

Bernadeta Eichner



A Business Parable Connecting Integrity with Profits