I am a salesman for a music magazine.
While I appreciate that people should not do anything they don't morally agree with, most of us would not choose to do so unless all other avenues were closed to us. I would imagine selling timeshares does not list highly on anyone's list of perfect career choices, and those that do it for a job would rather be doing something else, but circumstance does not permit them to do so at this point in time.
I know many salespeople and most of them live with some degree of personal development in their lives. Every day we are given more rejection than in pretty much any other job, and people frequently say to me that they could not do my job for that reason. For that reason, it pays to build strong belief in yourself, so you don't take those rejections of your product to be rejections of you yourself. Furthermore, without salespeople, most businesses (outside the net at least) could not survive. We are the people that get the product into the customer's hands, and the customer's money into our business's bank account.
Scripts are used by most salespeople to most easily facilitate what the customer wants, and to cover the unique selling points of the product. When selling without a script, you may deprive the customer of hearing about a key feature that he or she would be interested in and would consequently buy the product to benefit from. Scripts are good for everyone as they offer a consistent introduction to the product that gets the point across fairly to everyone the salesperson speaks to.
A salesperson's job is not to make you buy stuff you don't want. It's to consult with you and find the right product for the right person. If there is no product suited to the customer on offer from your business, the best thing to do is let them know that, and make recommendations of where they should go, where applicable.
I put most of my own sales success (yep, I've done ok) down to having read and applied sales technique from several excellent books. The two that I would apply most would be "The One Minute Salesman" and "How to win Friends and Influence People". Both of these books are primarily about genuinely caring about people, and "The One Minute Salesman" comes back again and again to the concept of selling on need - the need of the customer. Salespeople are there to serve the customer, not to push the customer into doing something they will regret. Like any job, you can learn to be a better salesperson, which will result in making more sales, or of a higher value, or both, but being pushy and aggressive is certainly not the way to achieve this.
I dislike the tone of Steve's post - the people he talks about are not doing a bad thing for being salespeople, rather they are doing a bad thing by misrepresenting the value of what they are selling (assumedly). Like anything in life, there are good people and bad people in sales. There are people who choose to try and increase their level of conscious, and people who do not.
Sales is a very profitable career if you are good, and some of the most successful people in the world have at some stage in their lives been salespeople, and have learnt skills in that role that have stood them in good stead throughout their lives. I would give you a very rude answer if you were to question me on whether I could be doing something better with my life than sales, as if you know better than me what I should be doing. Until you live perfectly, who are you to tell anyone how they should live, especially without knowing them at all?
You've made a straw man argument here - salespeople are not all fraudsters trying to get you to buy worthless crap at exorbitant prices, but the title is not "Even timeshare salespeople are human", and the tone of the post seems intended for all salespeople, not just the ones from your specific experience.
I'm pretty sure you did not mean to offend anyone with your post, but it comes across more than a little holier than thou. But I guess even bloggers are human.