If From Time to Time Someone Isn’t a Little Mad at You . . .

Business comes with a little bit of friction. Sometimes it comes with a lot of friction. When we care deeply, when we are passionate, we can all get a little worked up over things. If, from time to time, someone isn’t a little mad at you, you aren’t trying hard enough.

Try, Try Again

About once every year or so, I receive a call from an unhappy or upset prospect (not a dream client). They call me to complain that a salesperson that works for me relentlessly calls them to schedule appointment, leaving messages, and not easily accepting no as an answer.

As a salesperson, you get paid to open relationships that open opportunities—not to make your prospective clients angry. But, if from time to time someone isn’t a little angry that you have pursued them as relentlessly as a rainstorm, you aren’t trying hard enough.

Fight From the Inside

You promise your dream clients you will help them achieve their objectives. You own the outcomes, and you are expected to manage them. Sometimes you struggle to sell inside, and you become the client’s advocate, pushing hard to get what is right for your client from your own team. Feathers get ruffled, tempers flare, emotions run hot.

As a salesperson, you get paid to deliver for your clients. You need to sell inside to develop the relationships that allow you to get things done. If from time to time someone in operations isn’t a little more than a tiny bit peeved at you, you aren’t trying hard enough.

Pushing Their Buttons

Managing salespeople isn’t easy either. Sometimes they get too comfortable. They can get a little set in their ways—even when their ways aren’t serving them. Sometimes they need to a cold glass of water right in the face (metaphorically, of course) to shock them out of their state and to make them pay attention. Sometimes you have to call them out and push their buttons.

You love your people, but the love of a good coach needs to sometimes be delivered as tough love in order for your people to grow. If from time to time your salespeople aren’t a little mad at you, you probably aren’t trying hard enough.


When was the last time someone was a little mad at you? Was it because you were trying hard to generate a positive result?

Why is a little friction necessary from time to time?

What are the dangers of getting too comfortable with the status quo to rock the boat or stir things up?

How do you make certain that in any conflict great or small, your positive intentions are known?

What does it mean if there is never any friction?

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Filed under: Sales

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