Category Archives: Tough Love Lessons
Or Do You Actually Bring Something To The “Business Party”?
I am going to have a recurring theme on my blog called “Tough Love Lessons”. I will warn you in advance, they tone of these posts will be “in your face”, and may not apply to you. But there are people out there who need wake up calls in a variety of areas. If you know anyone who this applies to, please share the post with them.
For those of you who are already in the sales profession, or are thinking about a sales career, there are many opportunities to entertain customers and/or prospects. Events like lunches, dinners, golf tournaments, and trade shows are very common.
These are excellent opportunities to get to know people better, but there is also the potential to embarrass yourself! If you have consumed too many refreshments (or whatever else), you are going to look very silly.
Many people have gotten a “pass” at least one time in their careers for foolish behaviour, but if it becomes the rule that you are the “life of the party”, your credibility is thrown right out the window.
During my career, I have often laughed at the comment,
“He’s a great guy (or she’s a great girl)” for one reason……
But there is usually a “BUT” after.
In this scenario, the sales rep is great to socialize with, but they don’t really bring anything to the “business party”. This is a horrible stigma to have during your career. They are fun to be around, but they are not doing their job! OUCH.
Doing your job to the best of your ability is why people should remember you first.
This is not a 9-5, Monday to Friday type career; so if you are thinking about the profession for “free fun”, think again. There is so much more to it than that!
If you get a bad reputation early in your sales career, you are done. I have seen it happen, and don’t think that you would not be blacklisted as a “party-rep” too.
Oh yeah, one last thing….
You never want to be remembered as “that guy” or “that girl”.
This is the person that was a “memorable fool” at a business event, and people talked about them for years later when recalling the stupidity that transpired.
Never be that person who is late for a trade show or training sessions that management has paid good money for you to attend. Drag yourself to the event no matter what, or you may be looking for a new job sooner than later.
- It’s time-consuming
- It can start a series of telephone tag or long email correspondence
- It may dig up potential issues that you don’t want to deal with; feels like you are becoming a complaint handling department
- Don’t want to bother people
- Don’t know the right amount of time to wait if you need an answer
- Would rather focus your efforts on getting more business if in a sales role, or fulfilling other more enjoyable business activities in general
TOUGH LOVE MOMENT – Suck it up!
Imagine if all of your competitors thought this way! You should be embracing follow-up and becoming your customer (or prospect’s) go to person!
Customers will respect you because your relationship with them is not complete after the purchase order number is given. They have put their hand up and said “treat me special“. Don’t take your current customers for granted and follow-up regularly.
- If you have quoted a prospect, be sure to follow-up. Don’t expect that they will magically call you and give their decision either way. It may only take a brief clarification to secure the business
- If you are following up to check on a previous issue, it may help prevent future issues
- If it is follow-up after a sale, it may take care of minor issues before they escalate in to bigger ones
One of my biggest pet peeves is when a project stalls with somebody in the organization, due to the fact that others have not responded to them. That is always unacceptable. If you need to follow-up frequently via email, phone, or in person, get the answers that you need to move things forward. Never use others as scape goats for things being held up by you.
Successful sales and business people do things that they do not like to do every day to continue to grow and achieve a cut above the rest.
If you are not ready to “get your hands dirty” the time to change is now. If you are already a master of the “circle of follow-up“, congratulations!