On a recent business trip, I sat near a couple in the hotel dining room close enough to them to know it’s a male sales manager and female salesperson in a performance review.
They keep telling each other ‘what a great story we have to tell!” Gross! (why do salespeople say that all the time?) He’s also really coming down hard on her and she’s just sitting there taking it – as if she’s actually looking to him for ways to improve herself as a human being.
How does a person sit through that without sticking up for themselves? I’m not saying she should stand up, flip the table over, grab his throat and whisper that if he doesn’t pipe down she’s going to eat his pancreas but at some point she has to say, “look jackass, you’re not my life coach. If I can sell this product, I can sell another one somewhere else. I don’t need advice beyond the job from some pipsqueak who was wiping boogers on the underside of his desk in junior high school five years ago.”
Sure glad I don’t have to deal with that stuff. You can see how well I respond to condescension.
I think there’s a specific gene expressed in sales people that allows them to remain positive and upbeat, to keep telling the story and painting the picture, even in the face of blistering personal criticism. Also, the gene for guilt due to lying is often repressed. I once accompanied a VP of Sales and a Regional Sales Manager as a technical “Pro from Dover” on a trip to whitewash over a dissatisfied customer. When they explained the complaint I told the “There’s no way this product can meet the expectations that this customer has, and you know that. It’s against the immutable laws of physics.” The VP of Sales didn’t miss a beat, “Yes, I know that, but he doesn’t, so we can’t tell him the truth.” Naturally, I got to say “Hello” when we met the customer and “Goodbye” when we left.
LikeLiked by 1 person