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Having a personality clash within the sales organization

Hi everyone,

I took a personality test at my new job and I came out as a very high "D" personality, which is someone who doesn't waist time chit chatting and is only interested in results and the bottomline. That is true in my case, as I my co-workers may not not know everything about me after just a few months on the job, especially since I'm still in a training phase and have not been out in the field to really experience what everyone else has experienced. This was brought up to me by my manager as a big concern for him b/c he said I would have to get along and be a team player with the other sales reps in order to be successful and he said so far from what he observed, he doesn't feel like I have bonded with anyone. To me this is kind of an unfair observation being that while I'm still in training, I haven't had the chance to really prove what I can do out in the field. It's not like I dont talk to anyone and shoo them away, I gladly have conversations with the other sales reps but it is difficult to come into a new enviorment with products that you are not familiar with and just immediatly become part of the family. This is an EXTREMELY cultured driven company, I have been very successful at previous sales positions b/c of my trait as a "D" personality, someone who goes out and plugs away and doesn't waist time, not necessarily trying to know everyone at the company. It's never been a concern to any of my previous employers until this new job. It's such a big deal to them that my job is in jeopardy now b/c of this, and I had no idea I was under such a microscope.

My thought was I would ask my boss, to let me go ahead for one day and make some sales calls around the area and for him to just sit with me and observe how I handle myself. This isn't my first trip into outside sales and I am very comfortable making cold calls and talking to decision makers. My bosses perception is that since I haven't gotten to know my co workers that well yet, I might have trouble building relationships with customers. That isn't true and I want to show him that. I guess I just wanted to know what everyone thought of that, I've been placed in team assignments before and have never had a problem working as a team with anyone on previous jobs, but the position i'm in now with this company as the NEW player and not really having the same experience as all of them, makes it hard to just walk in and become like an everday co-worker pal. Some people can do that, some people can't. I dont think it has alot of bearing though on wheather someone will be successful at their job. Just wanted to see what others reactions were to this situation. - by sales25
Just from what you've written it looks like getting along and being part of the team is something the organization wants to see from its employees.

Somewhere I read that more people lose their jobs because of an inability to get along with others than their inability to execute thier job tasks successfully. - by Sensei
Somewhere I read that more people lose their jobs because of an inability to get along with others than their inability to execute thier job tasks successfully.
I agree with that. More often than not it is one's peers that do the firing.

Sales25, you are in a difficult place--one that will test you. I have no way of knowing whether your boss speaks for the organization or himself. You'll have to determine that. If it's the organization, you may not be a good fit--not because of what's wrong with you, but what is perhaps right with you. Your boss's comment about your relationships with peers being a possible measurement or reflection of your future relationships with clients makes me believe that he is a wrong, misguided person to work for.

I have seen very talented, productive salespeople work and advance very well with your attitude. I would think twice about changing yourself rather than changing jobs. - by Gary Boye
I have seen very talented, productive salespeople work and advance very well with your attitude. I would think twice about changing yourself rather than changing jobs.
Thanks for that Gary, I believe the same. It's that trait I have that always allows me to meet quarterly and yearly goals b/c I'm constantly paranoid about not hitting them that I'm off and running on day one rather than taking 2 hour lunches and mingling with my co - workers at the office when the work to be done is actually out in the field. - by sales25
...one rather than taking 2 hour lunches and mingling with my co - workers at the office when the work to be done is actually out in the field.
Is that something that is going on at your new employer's office? - by Agent Smith
You might not be a good fit for that company. If you're not I wouldn't stick around any longer than you had too. - by Marcus
Is that something that is going on at your new employer's office?
With alot of the reps yes....i went on a ride with 3 of them on three seperate days and only one of the calls out of those days did I actually get a chance to witness true selling where their was a decision maker who had a need which was uncovered and we were calling on him to get an order. Most of the sales calls were delivering products or just dropping by to say hi and see how things were going. Real time waisters. Typical day I witnessed went like this,

From 8 - 11 they made about 2 calls, by 11am, they called their co workers and discussed where to meet up for lunch, from noon to about 1:30, they eat lunch and chit chat, around 2:00, they make sales calls number 3 and about 3:30 maybe sales call number 4. After that, it's time to go home. I never could see how they made money with a schedule like that. Now i'm sure there are some who are a little more productive than that, but i think a majority of them have a schedule somewhat simliar to that. - by sales25
With alot of the reps yes...
How about the successful reps in that company. Is that their pattern also? - by BossMan
Some are successful with that schedule only b/c they have been at the company for so long, orders come in regardless of weather they try to sell or not. There are maybe two I noticed so far that seem to actually work a productive day. - by sales25
With alot of the reps yes....
If in the eyes of the company that is good practice then you might find yourself on the outside more often than not. - by Agent Smith
sales,

Just to play devil's advocate, maybe it's worth looking at the situation from another perspective.

Is it possible that
  • you are so focused that you really don't make much of a team player? Could the skill of being able to blend easily with many different types of people be one it would be worth cultivating? whether or not it relates to your ability to establish customer relationships.
  • your scorn for the work ethic of your coworkers shows? No manager wants conflict in the ranks.
  • your sales cycle includes hand-holding? It sounds like you may have long-term clients who may be buying commodity-type products? If so, those drop in to "press the flesh" sales calls might be critical.
  • you could do more to become one of the team - especially during a training/probation period? Could you spend time asking questions, asking others to tell their war stories of what works and what doesn't, etc? You may not learn anything new, but you might. And, it could be a great way to get to know some of your coworkers.
  • if you figure out this team issue, you're going to be a superstar on the sales team once you're out on your own because you will sell circles around the rest?
Just a few thoughts....

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
What does the company sell? - by JPHenao
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