I dreaded today because of the observation and for no reason. It went well despite it taking longer than I was comfortable with. The box has been ticked and I am now free for another 6 months!
I suppose it would be a good idea to explain that twice a year, my boss has to observe me in a meeting with a client to ensure that I say and do the right things at the right time! I get on really well with my boss and have no problem with her doing this as I often do learn from it. What i don’t like about it is the fact that it makes me feel like they don’t trust me to do my job properly.
From a regulatory point of view I understand the need for them to ensure that I work in a compliant way with the client’s best interest at heart. However, there are times when I question if the company I work for, are really interested in the need of the client compared to making a profit!
By saying this I am not suggesting that companies should not be making a profit, that would just be ludicrous, but there are different ways to make a profit. I am heavily targeted in terms of how many sales I make each week, which in itself is silly because they come from a weird assumption that every week is the same! Also they keep asking what I expect to do next week, to which, my reply now is; “if I had the ability to look into the future I am pretty confident I wouldn’t be doing this job
I don’t really know if the credit crunch/financial crisis or whatever you choose to call it has made it more difficult but I do get the feeling that there’s an element of desperation to get as much out of each client as possible and this is what I have a problem with. Whenever I feel I am being sold to, I will walk away and find an alternative to the product or service I was looking for. Technically, I know how to sell and as much as I hate to admit this I have used every trick in the book to close a sale in the past. Luckily, this was a long time ago and I refuse to do it now. I am at the belief now that people are much more aware of when they are being sold to and I have yet to meet someone who likes being sold to. I am also at the belief that if you have to work really hard at selling something, then it is generally not worth buying in the first place.
I am beginning to question if this job really is for me. I do have a lot of regular clients who choose to come to me because (based on their feedback) I tell it like it is and because, I guess, that my focus is to do what is best for them. I treat people the way I would like to be treated and I do generally believe that what comes around goes around. The parts of my job I really love is meeting with people and finding a way of helping them regardless of whether that turns into a sale or not.
The parts of my job that makes me want to do something else is the current desperation and pressure to get as much out of people as possible. I really do not understand that mentality and the only explanation I can think of is that the people who are piling on the pressure are worried about the security of their own jobs. I have written about this before and shall not repeat it now.
What I would really love for these people to realise (not just the company I work for) is that if they put the customer first and really listen to what it is they are after and then finding a way (if possible) to provide this, there would be no need for all this pressure and desperation.
A company is only as good as the people they employ! The employees, no matter what level they are at can only do the best they can, if they are allowed to. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t the way to get the best out of people to encourage them and lead from the front instead of putting pressure on people and tell them that if they don’t reach a certain level within a certain time frame their job could be at risk.
Then there’s the part where I somehow allow this behaviour towards me! I have thought about this a lot and I know that I could have aired my views a lot more than I have done. The reason why I haven’t is because there is an element of fear that if I did I would be labelled as negative, not a team player etc and I guess being forced to find another job.
Believe it or not, I am not coming from a point of blame here. I believe that the people piling on the pressure are having to deal with similar or worse pressure from above and I also understand that they too are doing the best that they can. I am not blaming the company either as, like I said, the company only exist, through the people they employ. This leaves me with nothing other than the system to blame. I actually don’t really need anyone or anything to blame, but I would like to see a different system.
I really do not believe that the current format of having people managing people on so many levels is really working unless of course the people at the top have absolutely no trust in the ability of the staff at ground level.
The real question for me at this point is this: Do I give up and look for something else to do or do I keep trying to change the system? Can I even change it at all? I know that I do my job differently than most of my colleagues and maybe that is why I am not at the top of the sales league, which was never my aim anyway although the people above me would like that of course! The interesting thing is that whenever I have a really good week by the company’s standard I don’t feel the sense of achievement I get from knowing that I have done the best I can for one of my clients.
I realise that I have a choice to make at some point and I guess the choice at the moment is to keep going and try my best to accept the things I can’t change. I do believe that there is another path for me to tread but I am not exactly sure where or what it is yet and I somehow I don’t think the time has come yet!