If you’re a sales manager or executive managing a sales team, you may have hired people on your team you’ve worked with before or have had a previous personal connection with. That’s great unless sales performance becomes secondary to the personal relationships you’ve established. Here’s a question that was recently posted by a sales professional in one of myLinkedin Groups, and my accompanying response. What would your counsel be if you were an external advisor to this rep?

“What to do when you are getting zero love from your boss? If you are a sales rep doing your job hitting your numbers and you feel that your boss plays favor to other reps he knows on a personal level, has short handed you on territory what would you do?

“This is an excellent question… thanks for posting it. Here are 3 cold realities and remedies you may want to give some thought”:

  1. Maintain focus on your purpose. Your boss is your boss. He’s not a chaplain, parent, or little league football coach. You’re in the profession for the compensation and collateral benefit of helping customers get what they want. Be lead by your purpose.
  2. Sometimes sales production isn’t enough. Do what we do long enough, and you’ll run across a bad manager count on it. If you can’t gain favor with your own boss, confidentially contact his supervisor by telephone (no email trail), compliment her on the manner in which she manages important matters in her organization, and ask her if she’d be amenable to mentoring you now and then as you view her as a professional role model. Most likely the response will be positive and you�ll get some measure of protection and visibility from the top, as well as indirect influence over your boss as your mentor will hold him accountable to take good care of you. Be assured, your boss will loathe your new relationship, but you’ve changed the game and put in place an access point of accountability to help protect and ensure the visibility of a consistent track record of sales performance.
  3. Give up on “fair” in the sales profession. The principle of fairness in the sales profession should stay in the archives and sandbox of childhood memories. Sometimes ones performance won’t be enough to gain favor- it’s just not fair; your quota will rise and your territory will be cut – it’s not fair; If your boss has established relationships that manifest in overt favoritism, that isn’t going to change. But you can.