From Sales Schmo to Sales Pro: Volume 1

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Volume 1 – Networking Seminar Smart-Phone Etiquette & other tips

Last week I attended a seminar put on by one of my clients. It was for an industry-networking group. In order to be invited to this event you either had to be a working executive, a sponsor of the group or an “in-transition” executive who at one time or another sat in the decision-maker’s chair. The group was professional and respectful…for the most part.

During the obligatory individual introductions everyone stood up and announced who they were and why they were there. One gentleman stood up and all he said was, “I’m Joe from I’mclever.com*” and sat down. I’m sure somebody told him “don’t give any details about your company, leave them guessing then they’ll want to talk to you.” Not altogether bad advice except for the fact he decided he had enough of the presentation about ¾ of the way through, and got up and left without talking to anyone.

I suppose I could forgive him for that, but the walking out early was just the icing on the cake this morning. During the presentation he never stopped looking at, playing with and texting, emailing and surfing on his smart-phone. I could count on one hand the number of times he looked up at the speaker during the half-hour period his juvenile attention span allowed him to sit. He did look up to take a picture, twice, of the presenter’s slide – the same slide, mind you, with the flash going off.

Sales Schmo alert.

You may be saying, “Well everyone does it,” so why am I pointing it out? Specifically for that reason – if everyone does it then don’t do it, plain and simple. In a previous post I talked about the disease of hiding behind the “everyone does it” syndrome and the damage it does to the integrity of our situation. For heaven’s sake, have the guts to stand out and do the polite, ethical and professional thing! Stop being lazy, waiting for somebody else to decide what is acceptable. Why, you may ask?

It will separate you from everyone else! It will move you one step further from being a Sales Schmo, and one step closer to becoming a Sales Pro. The advice here is simple:

  1. Turn off the phone, or better yet, don’t bring it into the building. Focus on the people you are there to meet and engage them genuinely.
  2. Don’t take pictures of someone else’s presentation. Go up afterward and ask for a copy to be sent, or the website you can download it from. It is their I.P., have some respect for the work and effort they put into researching and creating their presentation.
  3. If you feel the need to tweet about an event you are attending, ask yourself this question, “What will tweeting about a session I’m sitting in accomplish?” Chances are it won’t move the needle one inch with respect to growing or improving your or another person’s business. It will just be noise.
  4. Don’t leave early. Introducing yourself as being clever is fine, but the point of the clever introduction was to intrigue people so they want to talk to you afterward.
  5. Be present. Get the most out of the experience. Engage with others. Your phone, pc, tablet, DSi or whatever you choose won’t let you do that unless the presenter encourages it as an integrated part of the learning experience.

Which one are you… Sales Schmo or Sales Pro? Build trust at every opportunity, because you can lose it with one text on your “smart”-phone at the wrong time.

Jack Kelly
Jack Kelly
Jack founded the Corlea Group in early 2009 with his first client coming on board in January of that year. Jack loves to coach. He coaches his clients and he helps coach his kid’s teams – it’s his passion and has been for over 25 years as a professional, father and volunteer. Why? Because he likes to help a team succeed.
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