No Candy Bars for Bad Behavior

by Deb Andrychuk

16 April, 2012

Last night I ran to the drugstore to pick up some allergy meds. While perusing over the different brands of antihistamines and in my own little world, I was abruptly shoved back to reality by the shrill screams of a little boy sitting in a cart about 3 feet away. He was shouting emphatically to his obviously drained mother “No, mommy, YOU shut up! I not gonna be quiet!!” He then began grabbing whatever items were within arm’s length, hurling the medicines like missiles down aisle 8. The Sudafed went whizzing by first (see-ya!) Then the Mucinex went sailing over mommy’s head, and the store brands were chucked next. I ran for cover and headed for the front of the store to pay and avoid being knocked out by NyQuil.

Now, here’s where it gets really interesting. Mom brings the little guy up to the check-out counter and begins showing him all of the “yummy candies” he can choose from. I immediately get my hackles up and think, “WHAT?! Are you kidding me?” Not that I thought little Hitler should be beaten or ostracized in public, but in no way did I think he should be rewarded. Then, it occurred to me that this is what happens every day in the business world, especially in sales. Sales people who behave badly are constantly given accolades, put on pedestals and promoted. WTH?

Practically every week I witness bad behavior from certain sales people in our industry and it baffles me. It is so bad that I sometimes cannot even sleep at night because it blows my mind that my clients, who are wonderful people, would do business with anyone who would behave so inappropriately. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the sales people who lie and manufacture stories about the competition to win a deal or make their clients feel stupid for doing business with someone other than them. I am referring to those arrogant sales people who truly believe that every customer owes them a call back, even though they are one in 50 calls or emails a day. And, when they don’t get what they want, they go over their client’s head. Get real! If clients did nothing but return calls/emails, no work would ever get done! And, I especially love the sales person who shows up uninvited and unannounced, demanding to be seen because “they have something important they need to discuss.” Um, wow…I thought it was about the customer? Now trust me, I think that partnership is a two-way street and that customers have a level of responsibility and commitment to the vendor/sales person, but this is still uncalled for any way you look at it. Do you agree? I would rather lose than lie and I would certainly never treat my clients with disrespect. I honestly feel you can be successful AND act like a decent human being. When did being a good person become so unfashionable?

Okay, done ranting…but parents, please don’t reward Johnny with a Snickers the next time he has a nuclear meltdown in Walmart, okay? You are setting him up for failure later in life in allowing him to think that it’s all about him or that it’s good to be bad. And, customers please don’t tolerate rude and pig-headed behavior from your vendors. Buying from rude people only serves to send the wrong message to the seller that it’s okay to crap on you. It’s not okay…