By Jeff Beals
Once upon a time, two salesmen – a long-time veteran and a newbie in his first week on the job – visited the CEO of a medium-sized company hoping to sell services to her.
The meeting went so well that the CEO agreed to purchase what the salesmen had to offer. They quickly wrote up a contract and had her sign it. All three people had smiles on their faces as the salesmen shook the owner’s hand, thanked her for her business and headed toward the elevator lobby.
As they waited for the elevator, the veteran sales rep proudly said to the new guy, “You see buddy, I told you this job is easy. Selling to these suckers is like shootin’ fish in a barrel. They don’t even have a chance!”
As soon as he said it, he wished he could retract his words.
At just that moment, the CEO, the person with whom they had signed a deal moments earlier, walked by. She heard every word and was patently insulted. She grabbed the contract out of the new guy’s hand and ripped it in half.
What was once a “done deal” suddenly became a costly blunder.
What a waste of time, effort and money! It took quite a bit of time for the sales reps to get to that point in the selling process. They had to conduct background research on the company and the CEO. It required persistence to get past the gatekeeping secretary and land that appointment. They had to prepare a customized sales presentation to win over the CEO. In the end, all of that work was for naught.
Failing to take care of the little things can sabotage your success.
Many years ago, I found myself needing to fill an open position in my department. It was a good job, and a number of people applied. But there was one candidate in particular who stood out. He was uniquely qualified, and I was excited to interview him.
About 30 minutes before the scheduled interview time, I looked out my office window and saw a well-dressed guy shaving in the parking lot. He had an electric razor in his hand and was using the reflection of himself in his car window as a mirror. Sure enough, that guy turned out to be the candidate. It was not an impressive way to start his job interview.
No matter what you do or who you are, it pays to remember this: You are being watched! Somebody is always listening to what you say!
The little things you do when you assume nobody is watching or listening can devastate your career.
I’m not advocating paranoia. Trust me; I sometimes do or say things I should not. Like many people, I have occasionally paid a price for stupid things I have done or said. But I’m generally safe when I assume that people are listening to what I say and watching what I do.
In our ultra-connected world, the metaphorical camera and the metaphorical microphone are always on…So beware.
Oh, and sometimes it’s not just metaphorical - it’s often real cameras and real microphones that capture our less-than-stellar moments.
Jeff Beals is a professional speaker and award-winning author, who helps professionals enjoy greater success through effective sales, marketing and personal branding techniques. He delivers energetic and humorous keynote speeches and workshops to audiences worldwide. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (402) 637-9300.