Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Post Election: Block Out The Noise - November 12, 2016

I must say that I’ve never witnessed behavior in a business setting like I’ve seen over the past few days. It doesn’t matter the volume level, I call it all noise. From quiet whispering to outright screaming matches and everything in between, there has been quite a bit of hostility in people’s tone of voices.


The presidential election has brought out the best in some people and the worst in others. Voting in general is a privilege and it should not matter who one votes for as their candidate of choice. It is a personal choice. But, as much as it is a personal choice, taking a stance publicly and vocally can impact your position with your management team, in a negotiation with a client, or in the eyes of your co-workers. Being a part of the noise may not serve the purpose you may ultimately want.


Please don’t get me wrong, free speech is a wonderful thing, something we should all celebrate and champion. However, in the career of sales, one that likely pays your bills, keeping your opinions to yourself may be the better option over contributing to the noise. I’m sure by now you’ve hear the term “sales chameleon”. The sales professional needs to blend in with his or her surroundings in order to win the deal or win the day. So often sales people agree with this approach, pride themselves are being “good chameleon’s” and yet at times do not know when to bite their tongue.


Over the years in my career I have witnessed individuals commit professional suicide over their opinions and remarks. I’ve written many posts about sales being a game and how to play the game of sales. Blocking out the noise is a part of being an ‘A’ level sales person. And, it doesn’t have to be a presidential election, it can be commenting on your favorite NFL team when standing in front of a diehard fan from the opposition. I’ve been in meetings in Pittsburgh when the topic of Browns vs Steelers comes up. Instead of running my mouth, I’ve poked fun at the rivalry or simply let comments pass. Why stir the pot if it just needs to simmer.


So, this week I’m keeping the post rather simple, and just offering a little piece of advice based on the past few days of observations. Here you go: Sales is a game and ‘A’ level sales people know it is a game. You must recognize that even though you may have a strong opinion about a political, religious, sports, or business topic, it is sometimes best to stay quiet. There is no need to contribute to the noise. And, if you are wise and can block out the noise, others like your management team, co-workers, clients and prospective clients will take notice, and you will be regarded as a steadfast sales person. Keep business business and personal personal. There’s always a time and place to voice your opinion and the workplace isn’t always the best place.

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