Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Put that coffee down

Recently a Verizon sales person came to my door to get me to switch from Comcast. For a variety of reasons I declined, but as I grew uncomfortable talking to the young man, I thought of my recent post about sales, its relationship to marketing, and why it makes us squeamish.

We consider selling, and sales people, a little dirty. Dishonest. Obnoxious. But there is something else about sales people that we don't like: They are desperate. Don't get me wrong -- the best ones never show it, because they know that desperation is unattractive. But we know they are desperate, and they know it too.

Why are they desperate? Because sales people can't hide. No one's performance is more closely tied to a business's bottom line than the sales team, and, with some exception, no one's performance is so closely tied to their own compensation. If most of us have a bad day, our paycheck is still going to be the same size at the end of the week. Not so for many people in sales.

I also think that those of us who are concsientious are shamed just a bit by sales people. We see their hustle and wonder if we work that hard, if we could cut it if we had to live every day by that day's results. It's why a smart business makes sure that everyone, no matter their position, knows the organization's strategic goals, and why everyone should be held accountable, in a meaningful way, for making sure those goals are fulfilled.

We're all part of the same team, and we need to shoot for the Cadillac, not the steak knives.

Coffee is for Closers by coffeforclosers

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