Want to submit a question and be featured in our advice column? Click here. (Don't worry, you'll remain completely anonymous).
Dear Quota Team
I’ve been in sales for the last few years. I like the money and don’t mind the work. Even the prospecting is actually kind of fun. I view it as a challenge and like to surprise people by being a better listener than ninety-five percent of the other salespeople they talk to.
What I don’t like is the culture among my coworkers. They’re basically all a bunch of arrogant and shallow guys who all like the same things (sports, drinking, wearing vests) and make almost no effort to understand their clients or coworkers who might not think like them.
I’ve only worked at one other company, which was pretty much like this too, but it makes me unappreciative of the profession and kind of even makes me want to consider doing something else. Is this how all salespeople are or is there an industry that might be a better fit for me?
Uncomfortable in Location withheld
It’s interesting that you refer to your coworkers as arrogant and shallow, when your message seems to come off that exact way. Like Clarice Starling famously said to Dr.Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, “You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself?”
But to answer your question, salespeople come in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of varied interests and personalities. There is no one type of salesperson, just like there isn’t one type of lawyer or doctor. But if you’re having a hard time with your coworkers, you can always look for a new job, or try staying focused on your work. It’s unlikely that anyone is forcing you to be friends with your coworkers.