Well, are you?

Maybe you don’t even know you’re hanging around with pond scum, because there’s some pond scum already stuck to your own shoes.

I’m a firm believer in the concept that you become who you associate with.  If you associate with pond scum, then you too will become pond scum.

Over the holiday period there is a lot of networking that goes on by way of phone calls, emails, parties, etc.  One thing that tends to happen is people tend to connect with people with whom they’ve fallen out of touch.  For some this means reaching out to people further up the food-chain and for others it means reaching out to those lower down on the food-chain.

Please do not get me wrong — I’m not trying to be snobbish or create class warfare.

No, what I’m concerned about is how one person’s opinions can quickly become your opinion.

Let me share with you an example.

I use Linkedin a lot as a tool to generate business, but also to get feedback and input on ideas and topics I’m working on.  One of the techniques I use is to post the same question on a couple of different discussion boards to get a cross-section of opinions.  Recently, I posted a question about how to motivate a sales team during the holiday period.

Feedback to this question from a site dominated by vice-presidents and senior level people was all about sharing ideas as to how to make sure the holidays don’t bring things to a halt.  People were sharing ideas about how to leverage the holidays with customers, etc.  At the same time, the comments still were very cognizant of the holidays and the importance of family time.

Conversely, the feedback I received to the question on a discussion board dominated by a group of people who would be considered lower-level salespeople was all about shutting down and how the holidays are a time to stop working.   The vast majority of comments were about the salesperson themselves.

Wow! What a difference in comments, and this is exactly what I mean by being careful about who you hang out with.

Without even realizing it, you may very well be associating with pond scum that by their very own nature are making you walk in their scum.   The problem is simple — the more scum you walk in, the more accepting of it you become, and before you know it, you’re right there with them.

Copyright 2011, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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