5 Reasons to Colossally Fail at Your Next Interview

When interviewing for a sales job, everything is big. Big salaries, big titles, and big benefits. They all hang in the balance when we flash our opening smile to start the interview process. Despite what anyone would have you think, few interviews, even when aced, actually end in a job offer. In fact, if you the interviewee, don’t take action, you will likely be walking to your car an hour later not knowing much more than you did at the start.

Traditional interviewing advice tells you act as if you want the job long before you actually do. Be polite. Be enthusiastic. Answer questions thoroughly. Actively listen.

Instead of playing the good candidate, why not make a point of getting you own questions answered first? Does this mean you should be rude? If your interviewer won’t relinquish control of the conversation, I’d say “Yes, maybe a little.” You could say something a simple as, “Mrs. Interviewer, I’d be happy to answer your question, but before we move on I need to know about…” Get your questions answered ASAP and don’t apologize. Why?

Consider the following 5 benefits to risking all-out job interview failure:

1. You find out what you really want to know.
Do you really want to wait until you’ve had six interviews and you’ve flown across the country to find out the company can’t pay what you need to make? Can you imagine accepting a job for a company that sells their services at a 20-30% premium over their competitors for no clear reason? People do it all the time (I’m not proud to admit I know from experience). Don’t wait until you’ve fallen in love with the job to find out!

2. You save yourself from a job you’d hate.
Find out here and now what the boss is really like. According to research, people often freely enter romantic relationships with gaps in knowledge about the other person. They fill in these gaps with positive assumptions ie. “I’m sure he likes to go shopping.” or “I’m sure she likes to go on vacation” (See more on Aaron T. Beck’s research below). Don’t start the job interview process the same way! Many interviewers are simply looking to quickly dismiss unqualified candidates. It’s OK for you to take the same approach and look to quickly eliminate job opportunities that aren’t a fit for you. Just like any other relationship, you don’t want to jump in half-blind and hope for the best.

3. Even if you do offend your interviewer, you’ll learn that failure isn’t lethal.
Let’s say you get your questions answered, but bomb the interview, what now? Should you call 911? Chances are you uncovered some valuable information such as you never want to work for that person or company. Conversely, you may find that you are finally sold on working there and are now truly motivated to re-double your efforts at getting hired. When the time comes to ask bold questions in your next interview, you will be more confident. In his book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”, author Malcolm Gladwell shares that people can overcome tall odds using the confidence of having nothing to lose. If you’re not sure if you want the job, you too have nothing to lose!

4. Direct, honest questions benefit employers as well.
Even if they do get their interview interrupted and pride questioned, employers learn from your questions exactly what is important to you. They also learn that you are not afraid to challenge an authority figure. This is a sales skill sometimes required in order to work with headstrong customers. In a broader sense, asking difficult-yet-sincere questions demonstrates you actually care about the job fit. You are serious about your job search and you would not join their company simply for the sake of having a job.

5. If all else fails, you at least gain some funny anecdotes to share with your friends.
When it’s clear that neither you nor your career died because of a single job interview, you will see the absurdity of it all. I’ve interviewed for my share of sales jobs over the years, most of which, I am happy I did not get offered. Some of the hiring managers I’ve met could walk straight out of the movie Office Space. One told me his greatest strength was being a micromanager!
When you know, deep down, you want the job you will do a better job interviewing for it. The single biggest mistake I’ve made in this process is giving employers the benefit of the doubt. Assuming you’ll like the job without getting the information you need, leaves your career and your happiness to chance. Don’t waste time convincing yourself it’s the right job. Determine what you want and ask for it. Your future self will thank you!

Sincerely,
Meaning2work

To find Malcom Gladwell’s book on Amazon click here.

Aaron T. Beck wrote an insightful entitled “Love Is Never Enough: How Couples Can Overcome Misunderstandings, Resolve Conflicts, and Solve Relationship Problems Through Cognitive Therapy”. In it, he describes in detail the mistakes people make when entering romantic relationships. To find it on Amazon click here.

Don’t Take Another Breath Without READING THIS NOW!

The sky is falling! Just ask your favorite business blogger! Out of work? Need a better job? Here’s five things you MUST do before your next job interview. Not selling enough? Here’s the six things you SHOULD be saying to all of your customers. If you find yourself irritated with with the flood of fear-engendering advice on social media, you’re not alone. As you read this, another list of the 5 things you MUST do is waiting for you in one of your accounts. Go ahead, read it, and come back. I’ll wait…

Back so soon? The article didn’t change your life? Below, I’ve shared my pet peeves with the melodrama of the blog posts I call “must lists”. They would have us reading all day if they could. After all, the danger of not taking their advice is just too great! Rest assured, you will not lose a good job or a big sale if you choose not to read my concerns below. You may, however, relate to some of the absurdity I discuss. I welcome your comments at the end of this post.

When reading sensational, must-list posts, first consider the source.
I admit, articles with titles like, “The 5 Keys to Winning Your Dream Sales Job” seduced me for years. Often, they are written by job recruiters turned career experts. Heck, I still read them today for entertainment purposes!. While masquerading as experts with close ties to employers, most recruiters do what you already do – send resumes and hope for a response.

When you gain experience selling in a field, you quickly advance beyond the shallow level of industry knowledge the typical sales recruiter possesses. Their goal is to send as many qualified candidates as they can to raise the likelihood of earning a placement fee. Their advice tends to be very specific and certain, yet unproven. Never talk salary. Always close for the next interview. Emphasize your experience in blank. None of this ever guarantees success. If they really were interviewing experts, wouldn’t they be working a better job?

Authors use titles with words like “must” and “should” to scare you into reading their blog posts.
On the surface, using these two words seems just part of living in the real world. It’s reasonable to think that you MUST sell product to stay employed. Ask a therapist, and you will be told beliefs using these words are irrational.

Underneath your “must sell” belief is a deeper, “must keep my job” belief. This tells you that losing your job makes you a bad person. Using ‘must’ and ‘should’ when giving advice is an easy way to appear authoritative without having any real responsibility. Nothing happens to me, the author, if my advice turns out to be useless. Even worse, I’ve now encouraged you to incorporate a ‘must’ or ‘should’ into your belief system. In reality, there are no must-Do’s or Don’ts, only choices. If you’d like to delve further into freeing yourself from the musts and shoulds in your life, read “How To Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT).

Blog posts titles often want you to compare yourself to others and feel inferior in an effort to get you to get your attention.
The nine habits of top performing sales people imply that whatever you’re doing, it’s not good enough. Somewhere in the list provided are surely one or more habits you neglect. Shame on you! Ask yourself, does this feeling of inferiority actually help you? Worse yet, does following these habits guarantee success? No two customers, products, or industries are alike. Why would there ever be a universal list of keys to success that applied to all of us? Before you can seriously question this, a new must list appears in your Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter feed.

Bloggers (including your’s truly) can oversimplify complex problems.
Sometimes, the dilemmas we face simply need more time and consideration It’s like handing a widow a blog post entitled, “Six Quick and Easy Ways to Handle the Loss of a Loved One”, while she’s leaving the funeral. As blog writers, we want to gain your attention with quick, easy-to read articles that keep you coming back to our site. There’s no way to give you the same level of stunning and relevant insight in five minutes of reading versus an hour or longer. I reference books that dive a level deeper whenever possible not only to give proper credit, but also to provide a true return on the time spent.

The advice your given conflicts with other advice, even from the same blog.
Dress formally. Dress casual. Be aggressive. Be patient. Start a conversation with small talk. Never start a conversation with small talk. On and on it goes. Absorbing it all can be mind-numbing. As as misguided follower of must lists, you will easily find that whatever choice you make is wrong and worse, you should have known better. Inaction is often our response. Instead of feeling inspired, you’re left with a little less time in your day and a little more guilt.
Does chasing must lists sound like fun? Instead, here’s four things you can do to feel more fulfilled (just kidding!). As mentioned, I still read these kind of posts. No blogger or business writer wants to give bad advice and not all of their advice is bad. It’s often the packaging of their ideas that undermines them. And yes, most recruiters mean well too. I have friends who swear by them (instead of ‘at’ them like I do!). Just take what all bloggers say with a grain of salt. Look at all must posts with a healthy dose of skepticism. Finally, If faced with a serious problem, consider committing time to reading a book or speaking to an expert you trust and respect.

Sincerely,

Meaning2work

To find Dr. Ellis’ book on Amazon, click here.

4 Reasons To Treat Your Sales Force Like Management

How Does Your Company Treat It’s Salesforce? To Your Customer, It Means A Lot!

Company A employs a herd of undisciplined, self-entitled, complainers who call themselves sales people. It’s a continual struggle to teach and motivate them. Thankfully, a handful of good ones do what they’re told and manage to carry the rest of the group.

Company B leverages the knowledge, experience, and relationships of it’s sales people. They employee less sales people than Company A simply because their people are more fully engaged. The entire organization understands that, without customers, there are no sales and, without sales people, there are no customers.

As a sales person, which company do YOU want to work for? Today you can find everything from Facebook memes to college textbooks extolling the virtues of gratefulness and having a positive attitude – especially for sales people.

Shouldn’t these concepts also apply to a company’s attitude toward it’s own sales people? Instead, they are continually measured, questioned, and right-sized.

Here are four reasons companies should treat sales people like experts first and allow them to prove their worth second:

Reason 1: Sales people are the face of your company.

To your customers, your sales people ARE your company. They represent both the good and the bad of what your product or service delivers. If that crucial representative lacks the ability to serve the customer, the entire company suffers.

Reason 2: Customers are more inclined to trust people they know.

A sales rep that has proven her value will gain much more insight than any focus group facilitator. Why? Being paid to take part in surveys or focus groups skews the answers of participants. A well-trained, empowered, sales person can ask the right questions when the customer’s guard is down and get better information in return. Customers are often more willing to share their thoughts positive and negative about what the company offers.

Reason 3: Sales people are better able to gain competitive information.

In most of the companies I’ve worked for, Marketing and Sales Management are the last people to find out about what the competition is doing. Why? It’s the sales people who are in customer offices, seeing competitive literature, getting customer feedback on competitors, and even reading their proposals.

Reason 4: Customers buy from sales people.

Did I mention they are the face of the company? In today’s marketplace, customers lack the patience for vendor titles or org charts. Regardless if you are a service rep or CEO, customers want to know the same thing – what you can do for them. They are more likely to give their business to an entry level rep that can answer their questions quickly and throughly than waiting days for someone more important to come in from headquarters. “This person who deals with you on a regular basis has no valuable information or power to help you,” is not the message you want to send to your customers.

If you’re company was a world class athlete, your sales people would be the lungs. Revenue would be the oxygen the lungs take in. Does this make sense or even seem obvious? Instead of celebrating the people who bring life to our companies, we scorn them. We say they’re overpaid. They’re spoiled. They’re demanding. Finding and dealing with customers is never easy. Every sale is a customer choice – not a sales person’s. Taking the sales force for granted is taking the customer for granted. There is no greater example of entitlement than that.

The Solution
Support your sales people. Give them the information the customer needs and the power to get things done. Ask their opinion and listen. Respect what your sales people say about customer feedback instead of dismissing it as negativity. Turn your sales management function into sales enablement. Really, make the change. Make it abundantly clear to EVERYONE in your organization that customers, who fund their paychecks, need sales people!

Sincerely,

Meaning2work

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Sales Words: The Performance Effect

Jealous of the Top Performers on Your Sales Team? Here’s a Reason to Reconsider.

In addition to recognition and accolades, top performing sales people enjoy a hidden side benefit that helps them retain there status for ever longer. What I call the Performance Effect is the added motivation gained from simply being a top sales person. Whereas before, you might have identified yourself as a mediocre performer, now you have the extrinsic reinforcement that say you’re a top gun. To you, it makes sense to spend that extra hour or two making an extra call or answering an extra RFP. All the while, everyone else on the sales force wonders how you do it. For reps with steadily growing territories and stable performance metrics, the performance effect may sustain itself for months, if not years. For sales reps who experience significant and frequent changes, the effect may be fleeting.

As shocking as it may sound, the performance effect is something to avoid rather than envy. The reason? All good things come to an end – even for star sales people. One small change in performance measurement, product pricing, or territory geography is all that may be required. The longer a rep believes his own positive press, the more profound the fall from hero to zero can be. Sales people experiencing this abrupt change may become bitter and experience a level of self-doubt. A rep feeling this way may feel she somehow “lost her mojo”.

Unlike other jobs, sales people experience a wiping clean of their performance slate every year. We start every year with $0 in sales and essentially need to prove the right to keep our job once again. Therefore, more so than in others professions, sales people need to be reinvigorated. Daniel Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”, believes we all need to see the power of intrinsic motivation. Having a strong sense of meaning or purpose in your job makes you resistant to the extrinsic ups and downs of things like quota attainment. According to Mr. Pink, other essential factors to motivation include autonomy and mastery.

To check out the book click here. If you decide to purchase, please use my link. Doing so supports this blog and keeps me writing!

Sincerely,

Meaning2work

Sales Words: The Closer’s Fallacy

If Closing Is Essential To Generating Sales, Why Do I Win Business Without Doing It?

Nothing stirs up emotion, positive and negative, in sales people like the “C” word. Some think it’s a relic of the past. Others contend it’s more important to close customers now than ever.

The Closer’s Fallacy is the mistaken idea that the close itself generates the sale. If you can just ask that perfect question, in the right manner, at the end of a call, the customer has no choice but to say yes. Modern research, such as that cited by David Hoffield in “The Science of Selling”, proves that customers make multiple decisions throughout a sales presentation – not just at the end. They seek out answers to their own questions and make their own decisions.
Merely asking your child to brush his teeth applies a form of pressure. So does asking your customer for her business. As a parent, you have leverage. Do what I say because I’m your parent and I said so.. With customers, no such leverage exists. Therefore, sales people can exert strong influence, but never truly compel their customers to take action.

Sincerely,

Meaning2work

PS: Do you agree or disagree? Please share this post with a friend or leave a comment below. Also, if you’re interested in any of the books I refer to, please use the link I’ve provided (usually the name of the book) to purchase on Amazon. In doing so, your helping support me and this blog. Thanks!

Sales Words: Offer Erosion

Lose a Customer Suddenly Without Any Explanation? The Answer Could Be Offer Erosion.

Not to be confused with Brand Erosion, a term referring to the deterioration of brand identity, Offer Erosion occurs on a much more tangible level. As we know, good products and services often rise to the top of the market. Buyers instinctively seek them out in order to maximize value. At the same time, companies succumb to the never-ending drive to produce returns for investors.

Cutting costs is quicker and easier than producing new product offerings. Sometimes, this comes in the form of delivering less to the customer for the same amount of money. Small reductions in value (ie a slight price hike here, a reduction in features there), may go unnoticed by the customer until a clever competitor presents them a product that looks head and shoulders better than their current vendor’s.

Have you ever seen your product or service erode over time? Can this be avoided? Please comment with your thoughts.

Sincerely,

Meaning2work

Sales Words – Golden Oasis

Good numbers make everything better! Don’t they? In most companies, sales performance trumps all other metrics. What I call the Golden Oasis is a version of the Halo Effect that applies to sales people when they look excellent on paper. Their advice is sought by other sales people and management alike. They seemingly can do no wrong.

Experiencing this phenomenon can make you, the sales person, give yourself too much credit. You must be an expert because the results say so! Don’t they? To the dismay of many, this luxurious state of mind is temporary. The loss of a big customer, a change in market conditions, or a price hike are just some of the circumstances that may cause a sales rep’s golden oasis to evaporate.

Can you think of a time when you were fooled into believing your own greatness? I welcome your comments!

Sincerely,
Meaning2work

You’ll Find Me in Cell Block C4 – Spreadsheets and Sales

Yes, they’re an excellent tool for analyzing data. Yes, they give individuals and companies the ability to store large amounts of information, perform calculations, and even spot trends. Yes, our employers probabaly wouldn’t be able to pay our paychecks without them. I am, of course, referring to spreadsheets.

No, spreadsheets don’t hurt people. People do. At some point, we went from using them as tools to inform decision making, to tools that actually make decisions. “I’ll spend the majority of my time with my top 20% of customers”, we might say. “We’ll fire the bottom 10% of the salesforce,” management might say. Like a sophisticated Magic 8 Ball toy, a formula plugged into a spreadsheet spits out a course of action for us and we dutily follow it.

Like all computer programs, spreadsheets cannot function without input. That’s where you and I come in. We take one of the outputs of our work, (ie. net sales, market share, etc.) and feed to the spreadsheet so it can work it’s magic. Unfortunately, magic has yet to be proven to be anything more than artistic, entertaining, trickery. Here are some problems with the way we use spreadsheets in sales. Feel free to add more in the comments section of this post.

Spreadsheets Can De-humanize Sales people and Customers

We humans want to be treated as individuals. Considering only a few data points takes away any unique or relevant details regarding the individual. Intellectually, we all know this but, in practice, we forget it very quickly. According to Cal Newport in his book “Deep Work”, it is scientifically impossible for the human brain to truly multitask. Instead, our focus switches quickly between two or more tasks giving us the illusion of doing more than one thing at once. Therefore, when analyzing a sales report, it is impossible to scrutinize the data and consider the person attached to it at the same time.

To this day, I have my personal breakthroughs quickly reduced to rubble at the hands of a spreadsheet. In response to a record week of sales, I am rewarded with a report sharing how many reps around the country had the same or more sales than I did. Customers don’t fare much better either. We don’t throw reports in their faces. Instead, we treat them only as well as their business potential dictiates. Why? That’s what a formula on our spreadsheet tell us to do.

Spreadsheets Facilitate False Assumptions

Where does data come from? The past. According to Nicholas Nassim Taleb in his book, “Fooled By Randomness”, one of the biggest mistakes humans make when looking at history is assuming everything is due to cause and effect and not randomness. He skillfully points out that even major historical events are the result of random factors. For example, what if Adolph Hitler was born a girl? Given the restrictions on women in Germany at the time, is there any way she could have risen to power, let alone attempted to take over the world? In a more practical sense, managers often assume reps are either unskilled or lazy when sales are low.

Don’t get me started on charts either! I like the visual representation they provide in describing the past. It’s what lies beyond the trend line the spreadsheet never tells you. As someone who has won and lost on the stock market, I can tell you that no trendline EVER guarantees what will happen in the future. When your personal sales trend line is pointing down, you are looking at a picture of the past. You and I only have influence on the future.

Spreadsheets Can Hide Information

Anyone who has used Excel can show you how easy it is to hide rows or columns of data. Once the information is out of sight, it’s much easier to ignore. Often its the data that’s NOT recorded in the first place that is relevant. Try developing a list of key customers without looking at geography and you may miss many smaller targets who have high potential because of some geographic factor.

I had a friend who was a judge tell me once that he did not like video-taped testimony. He felt something could be happening off camera that could be influencing the witness. Spreadsheets, have the same effect. They shout, “Hey look at this information here!” All the while, our focus is potentially taken away from something else that could be more relevant.

Spreadsheets Often Oversimplify the Real World

As sophisticated as we think we are when we use them, spreadsheets force us to limit the way we see the world. Why? Our brains are not wired to take in massive amounts of information at once. Therefore we use spreadsheets to help find that one crucial piece of data or trend. Again, it’s the ‘Hey, look over here’ effect. The dumbing down of our approach makes us susceptible to confirmation bias. This is when we only notice data that confirms what we already think. Daniel Kahneman explores this and many other cognitive biases in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow”.

One mostly uh-helpful excercise I’ve had to perform many times in my career is the “Hot, Warm, and Cold” list. “Hot” customers are those we think are close to buying. “Warm” need a little more work and “Cold” are not interested at all in my product. These designations fit nicely into a spreadsheet where they can be sorted. Other than for time management, this information provides little value in advancing sales cycles. Calling someone a “Hot” prospect does not tell me what I need to do next to insure the sale gets closed. Calling someone a “Cold” prospect doesn’t guarantee that I’m not losing business by ignoring them either.

Spreadsheets are no more to blame for these problems than a baby is for a dirty diaper. The real problem is the power we give them – the power to make decisions for us and make us less accountable. Stop confining yourself, your employees, and your customers to numbers in a cell and you just may see your world open up!

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Regards,

Meaning2work

9.13.18 Update:
To date, this my-most viewed post. If you have a second, please leave a quick comment below and tell me just what drew you to read it. Was it the title? What did you think of the content? All opinions are welcome!

Ps. I’d like to put a plug in for Seth Godin’s “Akimbo” podcast. I love his thoughtful and straightforward tone. His thoughts often inspire mine. To check it out on iTunes click here or search for “Akimbo” in your podcast player.
To check out Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “Fooled By Randomness” on Amazon, click here.
To check out Cal Newport’s “Deep Work” on Amazon, click here.
To check out Daniel Kaheneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” on Amazon, click here.

Eight Ways Salespeople Ask To Be Manipulated

Yes. We in sales are victim to many things out of our control. Unrealistic employers. Unreasonable customers. They can make us feel like toys in a the mouth of golden retriever. At the same time, we fail to see how we set ourselves up to be manipulated.

Here are eight ways sales people unknowingly allow themselves to be manipulated:

1. They’re not honest about what they want.

It’s OK that you took sales your job because it was a stepping stone or you simply needed a paycheck. It’s also OK that you got fooled into thinking your job was more lucrative or rewarding than it actually is. Being thankful for what you DO have is always more rational than lamenting the things you SHOULD have. It’s irrational to expect what you want to be handed to you, without having to ask. If you want your customer to make a commitment, ask for it. If want to be promoted, make it known to your boss. Otherwise, why should anyone help you if they think you’re already satisfied?

2. They’ll do almost anything to make more money.

Bad news! Beyond about $75k a year in household income, more income doesn’t result in more happiness. In his book, “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants“, Malcolm Gladwell demonstrates that you really can have too much of a good thing including money. In fact, after a certain point, more household income makes raising children more, not less, difficult! If true happiness could be bought, rich people would always be happy. Instead, they always want more out of life, just like the rest of us. If you doubt what I say, add up all the salary you’ve made in your entire career. Do you still derive lasting happiness from all the money you’ve made? I didn’t think so.

3. They overpromise to customers.

Would you say anything to get the sale? For sales people, getting answers to customer questions can feel like time-consuming grunt work. For customers, getting those answers from you can make the difference between a product to buy and one to avoid. Yes, some customers will waste your time. It’s up to you to qualify them in advance and only commit to what is realistic. If your customer expects perfection, you probably haven’t educated them properly. Telling them what they want to hear without the backup of truth is a recipe for disaster. If you think answering pre-sale questions is grunt work, wait until you have to deliver on an unrealistic expectation! Not every objection is a deal-killer either. It’s your job to find out.

4. They overpromise to their management.

Yes, bosses do love employees who do what their told and make them feel smart. The problem? Everyone is wrong once in a while. If you don’t respectfully question your manager, you create in-need grief in the future. A prime example of this is forecasting. You know your leadership wants an aggressive number, so you give it to them. Congratulations! You’ve just put unrealistic pressure on yourself that you will, inevitably, transfer to your customers. When this backfires, you may cause reactance* or an overwhelmingly negative customer reaction. Remember, sales reps get fired over lost business, not conservative forecasts. See my previous post, “In Sales, “Playing The Game” means “You Lose” For a discussion on this.

5. They fail to question the company on behalf of customers and vice versa.

In business, telling others only what they want to hear helps no one. The best sales people balance the needs of their employer and their customers. If your company currently loses money on your product, they may need to raise its price. Sometimes your job is to sincerely explain this to customers. Conversely, price increases can make your product truly unaffordable for a customer, despite the value it provides. It’s also your job to explain this to your management.

6. They assume they have no career options.

Is only thing you hate more than your current job is the process of finding a new one? It’s easier to do your job in public and complain in private. However, employers don’t respect job tenure as much as they used to. Adaptability to change is held at a high premium. Overstaying your job is like holding a losing investment. The losses can pile up. You may regain lost income and skills that can result from staying too long. The time you lose can never be replaced.

7. They fail to scrutinize the product or service offering when accepting a sales job.

If you’re new to sales, getting your foot in the door with a mediocre market player is ok. Ultimately, it’s up to YOU to find good products to sell and good companies to work for. No salesperson, including you and I, is good enough to overcome a poorly priced or designed product that isn’t supported. Don’t let your ego take the place of the facts. Your sales career is about more than you and how good you are. Do your homework. Talk to customers. Talk to other sales people. Make an informed decision. Even if you’ve been in the same job for years, it never hurts to objectively re-evaluate your situation.

8. They chase winning harder than a dog chases a stick.

Sales competitions, Table tennis. Whatever the contest, is losing never an option for you? While competitiveness can predict success in simple sales cycles (ie. retail), it restricts your growth in more complex, higher-ticket sales jobs. Why? When competing, we narrow our focus. Complex sales situations require creativity thinking.

Still, if you’re determined to reduce your job to a game of win or lose, don’t forget who makes the rules. It’s not you. It’s not your manager. It’s the customer. See my post, “Think BACk: Freewill Is A Bitch!”, for a more thorough discussion on this. If you push product A, when your customer needs product B, she’ll conclude you put your own needs first. As a result, you may lose the opportunity to sell anything to her company. All because you needed to win.
It may seem, at first, the answer to avoiding manipulation is to turn around and manipulate others first. Not so! Instead, focus on being true to yourself, your company, and your customer. Balancing the needs of all three is never easy, but it’s what a job in sales demands.

Regards,
Meaning2work

To check out Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” on Amazon click here.

*I first learned the term “reactance” from David Hoffield in his Book, “The Science Of Selling.” It’s a comprehensive, science-based look at the sales profession. To check it out on Amazon click here.