What’s your plan for career success? Do you even have strategies for your career success? Your sales success, just like your sales calls, should be a result of your planning. Don’t let random events guide your career. Here are strategies you can implement to promote your career success.
Pay attention to admins for your career success.
There are some misguided people who treat people differently depending on their job title. Big titles get courtesy and kindness. Less important people get cursory acknowledgement if at all. That’s a big mistake. What these people miss is the understanding of how powerful support staff can be in making career decisions.
I know of one longtime admin who at one point worked with almost every now senior leader. These leaders asked before every job opening which candidate she preferred. She could tell you who treated her respectfully and who didn’t. Teams copied her on almost every document so she could comment on their work. She also heard all the office gossip so could share the general opinion about a candidate.
Admins often control their manager’s calendar and workflow. You minimize their importance to your career at your peril. Admins can help or hurt your career success. You should treat everyone with dignity and respect. You should especially treat admins with dignity and respect.
Spouses and your career success.
Many businesses have company functions that include spouses. Spouses often attend the company Christmas party. Some salespeople dismiss the spouse as someone who is not so important for their career. That’s a mistake.
Many couples talk about business with each other. Each one serves as an informal advisor to the other about the job, the people and the challenges. You can imagine the clueless salesperson who makes a beeline for the VIP manager at a company function and ignores the spouse standing by his or her side. It’s not only bad manners to ignore someone standing right next to you. Imagine what the spouse will say after the function when asked, “So what did you think about (you)? I’ll bet the answer is “not much.”
You just missed an important aid to your sales career. Know that that spouses often play a big role in judging who are the ones to promote and who are the ones to pass over. You want to be more than polite.
I remember one manager’s wife who invited the new sales team over for dinner. One sales rep announced that he didn’t like what she was serving and she had to prepare another dish for him. At a meeting 10 years later she still commented, “He made me dirty another pan.” It’s surprising that she mentioned it so many years later. I shouldn’t have been. That sales rep’s career never took off. I wonder how many times she mentioned the dirty pan to her husband.
People have long memories and spouses have a lot of power to influence. Be respectful when you meet a spouse. Include them in the conversation. You want them to say nice things about you because they can influence the promotion. You want everyone saying nice things about you—especially spouses.
What kind of person are you?
You’ve probably heard the saying that people buy from people they like. While that’s not always true, others liking you is often a factor in a customer making a purchase. There is a corollary that applies to promotions. It’s a rare person who gets the promotion and who many people uniformly dislike.
Someone I worked with complained constantly about everyone else and pretty much every policy. He publicly pointed out other people’s mistakes. He criticized others’ ideas, not by offering something else, but commenting on the deficiency of an idea. Management soon transferred him to a remote territory where he had little involvement in group decisions.
Yes, you should have opinions at work. Learn how to offer ideas that don’t denigrate others. Try to find something that’s good in the idea and then add what you want to it. Focus on process, not the person. You can improve a process. You’re not going to improve a person.
Your sales numbers or work accomplishments are not always going to be enough to get you the promotion you deserve. I’ll bet there are several candidates that could do the job. You can stand out when others want you to succeed. That’s a strategy for your career success.