Last night I spent some time having a
beer with a good friend and we started talking shop. We both had similar
experiences over the past week. We each parted ways with an employee. We were
discussing our similar situations when he mentioned that he read my blog every
week. And so the conversation turned to a post from two weeks ago about
Entitlement. He agreed with my commentary and so the conversation continued. He
went on to explain that in hindsight he continued to give his support to his
sales rep even when the young man was struggling and beginning to show signs
that he would not make it much longer. The following is a letter we penned
together to shed light on a trend with younger sales people carrying with them
a sense of entitlement.
Dear former sales rep,
For many months you were a pleasure to
employ. Your sense of humor was contagious and your enthusiasm for your new
career was refreshing to a bunch of old guys. You really seemed to care about
learning and developing. So what happened?
The team around you always painted a
very realistic picture, that sales was not always easy, and that cold calling
can be tough at times. We shared our own very real stories of success and loss.
Did you not believe us? Did you think it would be a slam dunk with every dial
of the telephone? Why did your attitude change and become so negative?
As time passed you became more and
more frustrated and it seemed like every piece of advice we offered was met
with disbelief and opposition. Statistically your performance was slipping with
each passing day. You went from showing promise to being at the bottom of the performance
list in the company of your peers. Weeks would go by without you getting a
prospective meeting much less a closed piece of business. You ended up working
on a probationary basis. Nothing improved.
Eventually the day came when you
needed to part ways with the company. It was hopeless. You did not want to
listen. You became defensive. You were lying to yourself about performance all
the while struggling to even smile in the office. Instead of agreeing and accepting
the outcome of the situation, it was your next actions that took us all by
You became belligerent. You demanded a
form of severance even though you were being terminated for poor performance.
You fabricated claims that your employment agreement and HR policies clearly
outlined. You went from being the likable kid to being a jerk. And, what makes
it worse, you did this to the people that supported you for over a year. You
displayed that sense of entitlement that creates such disdain in the sales
industry between the elder ‘A’ level sales people and the young up &
We do not wish you ill will, but
rather, we wish you good luck in your next position. You are a bright young man
with promise. Please learn from this life lesson and you will come out ahead.
If you disagree and continue with negative commentary and a sense of
entitlement, this situation will ultimately repeat itself and you will again be
on the losing end.
Your Sales Manager