I sometimes cringe when I hear salespeople say things like: “I carry the flag for my company,” or “I support everything we are doing. If you tell me to do it, I am going to march.” Statements like these are passive-aggressive, and the salesperson mistakenly believes that it conceals how they really feel about what they are being asked to do and what they believe in their hearts. Sadly, it doesn’t.
What lies beneath?
Beneath a salesperson’s protestations that they are loyal and that they are going to do the work their company needs them to do, is their unyielding resistance. They mistakenly believe that carefully chosen words are enough to prove their loyalty. They aren’t.
They are also mistaken in their belief that saying that they are loyal is enough to prove their loyalty. It isn’t.
Their words betray them. Your loyalty isn’t measured by words pledging your undying allegiance to your company. And words can’t disguise your insincerity, your cynicism, or your resistance to doing what your company needs you to do.
If you resist your management’s initiatives, especially with the kind of passive-aggressive resistance that damages you, your company, and your peers, pledges of loyalty mean nothing. You are a force for negativity.
If you don’t sell what your company needs you to sell because you don’t believe in it, there are no words that can prove your loyalty. Your lack of a sincere belief in your company will destroy your ability to produce sales results because you will pull your punches.
You need to believe to sell. Sincerely.
Your loyalty is measure by your actions
A loyal employee, that includes salespeople, doesn’t have to tell anyone that they are loyal to their company or that they sincerely believe in the company. Instead, they march.
Loyal salespeople do their job. They aren’t passive-aggressive. They don’t try to wait management out on their current initiatives. They don’t stir up resistance, and they aren’t rabble-rousers. When they really disagree with their company or their management, they stand and fight for change within their company. They advocate for their clients without believing that their company is less than it really is. They know that business isn’t easy and some decisions are difficult to understand—and they act accordingly.
This doesn’t mean that they like everything about their company or everything that their company does. But it does mean that they march, they sell, and they produce results.
If you would be believed loyal
If you want others to believe you are loyal, behave in a manner consistent with what you want people to believe: Be loyal.
If you disagree with management, there are other choices. You can stand and fight for what you believe needs to be done. That isn’t disloyal; it means you care enough to try to make your company better. You need the patience to know that it may take time to do what is right, and you may not understand everything you need to understand to know what a good decision is. Selling inside isn’t passive resistance.
If you really don’t believe in your company, you are wrong to take their money, wrong not to deliver the results for which you are paid, and wrong to sell your clients something you don’t believe is right for them. Your continuing to take a paycheck while professing your loyalty doesn’t make you a sincere believer. There are other choices that you can make that will prove how strong are your beliefs.
Is it enough to profess your loyalty to your company while behaving as if you don’t?
Are words enough to prove your loyalty and your sincere belief?
What is the best course of action you can take when you don’t believe in your company and what they sell?
What is the right course of action when you disagree with a decision that management has taken?
What do you owe yourself when you don’t have a sincere belief in your company? Could your company and its management be right and could you be mistaken?
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