Since the time of our youth most of us were taught the need for humility. I specifically remember my grandmother stating, “No one likes a bragger.” Quite frankly, I still agree with her as most times in my life when we come across someone that is loud and boastful we are turned off and look for ways to avoid them. It can be such an irritation that we might even secretly wish and hope for them to fail. If we think hard enough we can all think about someone like that in our lives.
The crazy thing is even though most of us don’t like a bragger we are all drawn to someone that is confident. We tend to put trust in those people because we find assurance in the fact that they know what they are doing and will be successful in what they set out to accomplish. We even might hope to be able to share in their success and make it part of our own. Confidence breeds success, which also breeds acceptance from others along with a desire to come alongside. When we achieve success through our efforts with confidence the pride becomes apparent. Even though there is a fine line between boastful bragging and confidence with pride, it is important to find that line and stay on the right side of it. As a real life example think of many of the major sports athletes. The loudmouth cocky player that achieves even the smallest success that tauntingly dances in the face of other players, while trash talking is annoying, and we probably personally celebrate when they get tackled hard, miss a dunk or makes an error on the field. On the other hand, when the chips are down everyone loves rooting for the players that know they can deliver. We love it when we hear a player say, “give me the ball, I will make it happen”…and does. As fans we feel part of the team and we want to cheer and waive our team’s flag in celebration. We claim it as our own.
Especially in our line of work, it is not only important to maintain a confidence without boasting it is also important to share that confidence with pride. We find ourselves in a world where those around us have an attitude of “what have you done for me lately?” We need to be able to clearly articulate what we have done for them and why it is beneficial for them. We need to communicate what we have done and what we can do to benefit those around us.
We recently have found ourselves in two similar situations with different outcomes based on our communication, or lack thereof, to our customers on what we have done for them. In both cases we have very successfully managed these accounts with high levels of service including, but not limited to, cost savings, emergency delivery, cost avoidance, process improvements and more. In the account that we documented and reported anything and everything we did for them we were able to fend off a challenge from a larger national competitor. Unfortunately, in the other situation we are still battling but we are trying to fend off the attack by telling them what we have done after the fact.
I want to encourage each of you to not only continue to provide the superior service that has become our reputation in the industry, but to also document and report any and all of such activities to our customer. Keep the communication line open to the account managers to consolidate all reporting activity. Remember no one waves your own flag like you do. I deeply thank you for all you do to make this company great.
Vice President of Sales