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  • Jerry Phillips

Respect and Character

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”


Early in my career, I did some “lesser” jobs. I delivered product for the welding supply I worked for. I ran the warehouse, before I started selling in a territory. In those roles, there were people who treated me very well, and people who talked down to me. Later, after I had started my practice, I called a company to prospect. I was speaking with a counter salesperson who made me feel those feelings of being talked down to again. He didn’t know me but had a bias that I was just another salesperson, I’m guessing. One of the things that I’ve always worked at is being relatable to everyone, no matter what their role is. Not just because the person may be the CEO someday, but because they are a human being, and they deserve respect.

I did several interviews for different roles when I was leading a sales and operations team for a very large distributor. My assistant sat just outside my office and she and I worked well together. She spent 10 minutes with each applicant before she would bring them to me for an interview. She had a signal for how they treated her in that 10 minutes of wait time. While it wasn’t the only factor as to whether they were passed on in the process, it was a major red flag if they treated her as an underling.

When you make sales calls, everyone is important. If you are managing a team of people, everyone is important. You must treat them with respect. Treat them as you would like to be treated. The best salespeople are the ones who understand their prospect or customer and work to solve their challenges, no matter what level they are in an organization.

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