Going through the motions in a sales position is bad for you as a sales rep and it is not good for your company, either. One of the best things a company can do to get this message across is to have the company president or CEO stand in front of new sales reps (on-boarding training, perhaps?) and make this clear.
When I ran CCBN University (the corporate learning arm of a rapidly growing tech company, which was sold to Thomson Retuers), I always looked forward to our president, Rob Adler kicking off new employee training.
Rob, who is now President of FRT, used to come in and say this with every ounce of energy he had:
"If you have a bad day, it's understandable sometimes. Everyone does. But if you have bad day after bad day after bad day, then we need to help you find something else to do here or we'd welcome you to move on. There is no way you can represent us well if you don't like what you are doing, and it is not good for you either."
I took a little creative license as it has been a few years. I think I have captured the spirit of what Rob said to each new group of wide-eyed new employees. I've referred to this numerous times over the years and recommended other leaders give this talk. Look everyone in the eyes as you deliver it. When it comes from the top, it seems to clarify to everyone that:
1. Unhappiness and mediocrity are not tolerated at our company.
2. You are not doing us any favors by just existing and not applying yourself. Move on.
If you are the sales rep dragging yourself in each day so far this week, challenge yourself today. Don't just sit and go through the motions of your job. Think about your career. What are your goals? How can you reach to attain them?
If you feel your manager is limiting you or holding you back, what can you do about it?
Despite how you feel about those all around you, how can you compete with yourself?
Can you offer an idea to leadership which could alter how business is being done?
Think about the show, Undercover Boss. The leadership often runs into disgruntled or at least under-appreciated workers who sometimes have great ideas. Voila - they meet, and the employee suddenly gets recognized and helps launch something new.
Without Undercover Boss, how can YOU make a difference? Don't wait for an intervention.
It does take effort, and your idea may not be appreciated at first. Do research and learn how you can show the ROI of the concept you are thinking about.
The other thing you can do is just focus on your job - and do it better than anyone ever has. Be so much of a standout that leadership will ask you how you do it. Take interest in an underdeveloped market and grow it with new sales. Listen to customers and potential customers. Make a matrix of what people are saying in the market and pass that along.
You can make a difference. It happens all the time - why not with you?
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2012 and 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.