Being in, or out of, alignment (who do you play ball with?)

There is more to business relationships than numbers and sales.

There is often friendship (though not always). There is often judgement (spoken or otherwise). There are often pressures on each side that the other doesn’t understand (very common).

But in the end, every business relationship needs some form of mutual respect.

This respect can be deceiving, because a buyer or customer that you really don’t like can still be respected. But it can be tough. Maybe as a sales rep you’ve seen buyers or owners that micro-manage or berate their employees, yet you value their business opinions on some topics. Or you’ve turned a blind eye to their destructive personalities for the sake of your sales. You’ve chosen to play ball with them, and it takes two people to do that.

But what happens when you’re out of alignment? When things get weird in ways that you can’t explain, but you feel your core and soul go through an earthquake when you have an upcoming meeting or a sales call with them? What happens when a dementor-like dread fuels your anticipation on interactions with them, knowing that you’re going to be attacked, that you’re being hit by their hurricane?

At that point as a sales rep you have a handful of choices:

  1. Talk to your manager about your feelings, ask for back up, and ask for their expertise to intervene (often the best choice).
  2. Slow down, back off, don’t give the vampire more blood to suck on. Just show up and do your job in a simple way for a while. See if problems resolve themselves.
  3. Attack the other person, tell them how you feel, tell them what they do wrong, and try to dominate the conversation (often the worst choice).
  4. Take your ball and go home. Let the chips fall where they may.

The important thing to realize is that everyone is different, and how people react to feeling slighted, ignored, disrespected or out of alignment varies widely. But as a big believer in individualism and self-care, making sure you are taking care of yourself first is (for me) at the top of the list. What form that takes is up to you.

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