A Weekly Q&A Column About Professionalism, Etiquette and Problems in the Workplace
by Sue Morem
Dear Sue: I hope you can help me. I am still young, and so far
donít have a very good track record. Currently, I am working in sales and
finding it very difficult to make my quota. I have done everything I am
supposed to do and should be doing better than I am. There is this guy I
work with that everyone loves. He is the top sales person and seems to do
no wrong. I donít think he is any smarter than me, and I know for a fact
he took off to golf a lot this summer, yet he is always the top sales
person. I donít get it Ė it all seems so easy for him. I am working hard,
but not getting anywhere.
Sue Says: This super salesperson may have that special something
that is hard to define; likeability and charisma. Even though you may be
doing and saying everything the right way, it does not guarantee your
success. If people donít like you and respond to you, you wonít have as
many opportunities, and may find yourself struggling throughout your
entire career. The guy you work with may have an advantage that he
knowingly or unknowingly takes advantage of Ė the fact that people respond
positively to him.
There will always be people who defy the odds; despicable characters
who end up being successful in spite of some of the things they do.
However, the truth is that most successful people, especially sales
people, understand the importance of building relationships, and the
respect that comes with caring for and about others.
The first thing you need to do is to have a talk with your sales
manager. Ask for feedback on how you are doing, and ask for help. Second,
ask the super salesperson, who you say is not smarter than you and works
no harder, to go to lunch. Get to know him and learn from him. Perhaps he
would be willing to mentor you. Spending time and others who are
successful will help you. Next, take a quick inventory of yourself and
honestly respond to the following questions:
- Do you like people?
- Do people like you?
- Are you a good listener?
- Do people confide in you?
- Do you compliment others easily?
- Do you smile often?
- Do others seem genuinely happy to see you?
- Do you look on the bright side of things?
If you answered yes to most of the questions, it is probable that you
are a fairly likeable person, but pay close attention to the messages,
often unspoken, that you receive from others.
Frequently people will come up to me after Iíve given a seminar and ask
me for feedback. They want me to assess how they are doing and how well
they come across. I rarely critique anyone without a specific objective,
but can tell anyone how to critique and evaluate him- or herself. We all
receive feedback from others every day, but sometimes we fail to notice
what people are telling us. The feedback is evident by the way people
respond to you, and ultimately whether or not they do business with you.
Begin to pay close attention to the messages others send and find ways to
connect with people in a sincere manner.
When you make people feel valued, they will value you. If you re
pleasant to work with and make other people feel good about themselves,
you will have an advantage. Get into the habit of recognizing the good in
people and bringing out the best in others. Give yourself the gift of
liking people and develop the habit of being positive and enthusiastic.
The rewards will be abundant and ultimately, you will enjoy what you do
and increase your sales.
Sue Morem is a professional speaker, trainer and syndicated columnist. She
is author of the newly released
101 Tips for Graduates and
How to Gain the Professional Edge, Second Edition. You can contact her by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her web site at
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