21 Jan Everybody talks about their passions
It’s a beautiful day, say Monday morning. Sun is up and coffee is freshly sipped from a nice mug with your name on it. You are a Sales working for a big corporation.
Your manager arrives in the office at 9, finds you sitting at your desk and first thing he or she is asking, after greeting you, is:
What customers do you see today? or
What opportunities are you focusing on? or
What industry are you prospecting this week? or
What tenders are you attending to? or
What customers are you having lunch with? or
What deals are you closing this week? or
What city are you driving to this week? so on and so forth …
I observe Salesreps, Sales teams and Sales managers since I’ve started my career in Sales. That’s 15 years ago.
The one thing I’ve never understood is why Salesreps would feel offended or disturbed or uncomfortable to any of the above questions their managers are addresing.
Pause here for a while and jump with me into the private life. Let’s consider the following scenarios:
A. Say you are a girl interested in fashion and clothing. You meet your best friend downtown for a cup of coffee. Final Sales, end of season is running as we speak. What is the probability that you two begin your conversation on fashion and clothing?
B. Say you are a guy passionate of cars. New model of your favorite brand has just been advertised. You meet your best friend downtown for a lunch. What is the probability that you two begin your conversation on cars?
C. Say you are single person interested in a new love affair. You meet your best friend at a pub for a night out. Social atmosphere, people dancing and having fun around the bar. What is the probability that you two begin your conversation on boys/girls?
D. Say you are a fresh parent fully booked for a new life since your child is born just a couple of months/years before. You meet your best friend at work. What is the probability that you two begin your conversation on children?
And the list may go on. The point I am making is that we never get offended talking the subjects we love most, either by starting the conversation with them or by allowing a big chunk of it during the same conversation.
Sales is a job for passionate people. We can either love it or hate it, at the first glance. Or, we can work hard, invest in ourselves the required skills and, practice the right attitude until it becomes a second nature.
If we choose a career in Sales, then we should accept the Sales jargon and the managers’ salesy attitude.
If we wrongly picked a job in Sales we may feel disturbed of such conversations our managers initiate every morning they find us in the office. However, that’s happening because our managers are passionate about it and interested in our Sales skills development.
It goes without saying that I am not in agreement with the micro-management styles some Sales managers are using and this article is not intended to encourage such.
I am also aware that some companies are not where they want to be in terms of Operations and Customer Services and that Sales need to get dirty hands washing dishes not used for their own meals.
Nevertheless, Sales job requires extreme ownership on Sales tasks and extensive Stakeholders management for getting supporting functions up to speed in freeing them out to be with the customers promoting and selling their company’s products and services.
A heartfelt advise is that all of us should find something that we love, something that we can believe in, find an environment that is fun and filled with people we can respect and learn from and jump in with both feet. It needn’t be Sale though, unless we commit to work hard.
In Sales if you work hard, you’ll have an easy life. The reverse is valid also; if you work easy, you’ll have a hard life in Sales.