I am not overly fond of whiners. How about you?
The World of Whiners
A while ago I was visiting a client. It was a month since my last visit and as I walked around the reps I picked up snippets of conversations here and there. Here’s what I heard over a period of three or four days every, single time I drifted by:
- Woeful laments on the economy
- Frightening comments about competitors stealing business away
- Rumbling groans about commission rates
- Disdainful remarks on the marketing efforts being made
- Painful reflections on how they were making less money than ever before
- Sorrowful reports about the quality of the list
- Dismissive statements about management
- And much… much more
And I wondered … I wondered if they whined less and simply focused on selling more that most of their troubles would disappear.
I wondered this because off in a corner, removed from the hub-bub of despair and negativity, was a lone rep quietly picking up the phone and dialing. He was dialing and selling. He led all the reps by a mile and had only been there a year; blowing the wheels off his objectives and making good money
This is important. We all complain and whine every now and then. Sometimes it’s a great safety value for releasing some of the pressure to perform. I get that. I accept that. But at some point it has to stop otherwise there are consequences.
Your Whining Options
If you find yourself whining consider your options:
Option #1: Continue to Whine
Your first option is the easiest. Continue to whine, stay miserable and remain unhappy. How does that sound as option when it’s printed in black and white?
The neat thing about whining is that you’re sure to find others who feel the same way. Think of it: you can have a pity party. You can feel miserable together. You feel even more crappy but at least you won’t be lonely in your despair.
And get this: lament long enough and you’ll eventually find a boss or owner who’ll let you go (fire you) which will take care of all your on-the-job miseries. (And then you’ll have something new to whine about).
Option #2: Quit
Hey, if it’s so hard, if the list is so bad, if your manager is such an ogre, if your commission plan is so crappy, if the competition is that much better, and if the economy is so gloomy… then quit. Do yourself a big favor, pack up your bags and find happiness elsewhere. Go where the grass is greener. Seriously! Why stay where you’re miserable? Find something you like. You’ll be happier and so will all those who sit around you.
Option #3: Try Changing the Situation
If you have ideas or recommendations that have a legitimate chance of changing, improving, correcting or rectifying the job situation then offer them up. Lay them out to your boss. I don’t mean just pointing out the negative, I mean offering up a well thought out plan of action. (This is the REAL challenge: anyone can point out the flaws but precious few can offer up good, effective solutions).
Option #4: Stop Whining and Start Selling
Maybe the wisest (and best) action you can take is to zip up your lips, hunker down and start selling harder and/or smarter. The more you dwell on the unpleasant aspect of your selling situation the more your time, energy and spirit is taken away from selling. You drain yourself of valuable internal resources. Your resilience takes a beating. You become obsessive about the issues until they consume you. Your attitude takes a turn for the worse. You won’t sell well and you won’t sell more if you’re in a negative place. Period. End of sentence. So, sop it. Right now. This minute. Avoid others who complain. Find a nice corner away from the negativity and focus on selling.
The economy IS mediocre, some compensation plans are not the best, the old days of making tons of money are probably behind us, lists have mixed results, some managers are useless … Okay fine… that’s the way it is. But these issues are out of your control.
One thing for sure: whining won’t fix the situation. Nothing changes when you whine. You just sound negative and after a while, tediously boring.
The only thing YOU can control is you. You CAN pick up the phone and dial. You CAN try harder. You CAN sell smarter. So skip the whining, start selling and succeed.