Updated: Dec 16, 2019
You have just been offered a new sales position. The benefits are decent, the base salary isn’t great, but the commission structure is totally awesome. You’re pumped to get started so you accept the job.
Day 1 of the new job goes something like this:
Your new boss says, “Here are your desk and your new business cards. Over there is the supply room and to the left of that are the restrooms. This is our employee handbook. Go ahead and read it whenever you get a chance and let me know if you have any questions. I will check in with you later. Welcome to our team!”
Day 2 of the new job:
Your new boss says, “So, this is your territory, and these are your sales goals WE have set for you. NOW GO SELL!”
Day 3 of the new job:
You say to your boss, “I have no idea where to begin, can you give me some guidance. Who are our ideal customers?”
Your boss says, “You told me before we hired you that you had a background in sales. What’s your problem?”
As sad as it sounds, a very talented friend of mine experienced a similar situation to this one. She discovered that there was no real chance of advancement in her current job, so she decided to look for another opportunity. She is a go-getter, outgoing and received numerous customer service awards. She also loves a challenge and without the possibility of working towards the goal of a promotion, she felt she had hit the ceiling in that organization.
This new company promoted itself as having a great culture and internal advancement opportunities, most importantly to her, it was a chance to challenge herself in a new industry.
She got a challenge alright. She received a small amount of product training followed by a road trip with an ‘experienced’ salesperson. She was excited to travel and to see just who their customers were.
What she soon realized was her new employer had NO marketing plan whatsoever.
When she approached her manager about her frustrations, he dismissed her by saying she just needed to work harder. It was obvious to her at that point, that the company didn’t care how they got sales. The company just wanted or more accurately, they needed more sales, because as she discovered later, the company was struggling financially.
Management wasn’t all that concerned whether or not the customers actually needed their product and service.
She closed her eyes and said the Serenity Prayer to herself:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
She stayed with the company and learned all she could before deciding to leave. She wasn’t about to make the same mistakes she made with her last job change, so before she accepted the new opportunity she did a lot of research on possible employers including talking to current employees to hear their testimonies on what working there was truly like.
Companies that do not continuously ask for, and more importantly, respond to customer and employee feedback are sinking ships.
My friend found a great company that has set her up to succeed and I have no doubt that she will. They provide her with ongoing training and resources she needs to succeed and they seek to improve the company by responding to what customers and employees communicate to them.
The sinking ship she was at - is indeed struggling, there has been an exodus of their most talented people and yet, they hold fast to their pride/ego that they know best. Their captain will be found alone holding on to the steering wheel when it hits the ocean floor.
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