Today I am going to offer you some valuable insight that could impact your career in a meaningful way. In today’s retail world there is a great deception at work that often leads many staff members astray. It is the belief that the grass will be a lot greener on the other side of the fence. Say there is a similar position that opens up, pays a little more, and with smoke and mirrors promises a windfall. The temptation to take a leap of faith is great! In the words of a wise mentor, “You better make sure you have a parachute before you jump off that cliff!”
In the early years of Modern Day Selling I was faced with this very same dilemma. As opportunity opened the door for me to find new success in being a national speaker, published author and monthly columnist, I was close to allowing deception to lure me into making a very big mistake. I had a vision in my head of how things were going to be and was prepared to leave my job as a million dollar plus sales associate to pursue this vision. By the grace of God I had an encounter with a mentor who took the time to settle me down, get my head out of the clouds and help me see things more clearly. In some way I hope this article is able to do the same for someone who may be facing a similar situation.
Before I share anything else I want to be very clear that there will be opportunities in life that come along and it will be in your best interest to take them. I do not want anyone to allow this message to create fear and doubt in a situation that is right for them. However, if you are someone that is looking into other opportunities, I encourage you to examine the situation with clarity. May the wisdom and insight within this article be a road map to help you.
Anyone who has been in jewelry sales for an extended period of time will tell you that the key to being successful is building a strong customer base that is loyal and dedicated. Every year that you do your job well, it will continue to grow. In time, if you build your customer base correctly, it will begin to operate with precision and efficiency, making your job a whole lot easier. At times it will practically run itself to where your job is almost effortless. This is the vision that I live each and every month with the customer base that I have built over the last nine years at the same location.
Through my years of success there have been a few times where I had contemplated leaving for various reasons (one I shared with you earlier). With my reputation and history of success I could go just about anywhere I wanted to. However, each and every time I came to the realization that if I left I would be starting all over again.
In order to create such success, the first few years are always going to be very difficult. It takes massive amounts of energy and time to build a solid foundation and customer base correctly. In the end my situation always looked sweeter right where I was and I reminded myself just how good I really have it.
This story is a major reason why many sales associates with great potential never achieve lasting success. They are not willing to grind it out through the first few years and maintain their efforts throughout the years. So they hop from one place to the other, starting over every time. It’s a vicious cycle.
There was a young man I worked with a while back that was a dynamic sales associate with the potential to be great. He had the “IT” factor, everybody loved him, even when he screwed up! Unfortunately he did not posses the drive to reach his full potential. He called in sick a lot and was not very reliable. I actually made a Christmas jingle called “The Twelve Call-Ins of ___.” It had everybody rolling. However, when he was there, he was golden.
At some point he decided to leave and work at another jewelry store. He quickly realized just how good he had it with us and has begged to come back over the years to no avail. So he moves from store to store making much less money, with no real customer base, grinding it out year after year. If only he would have taken the time to examine just how good he had it before he left? It is important to really weigh the facts before you leave your current situation. Oftentimes you will realize that you actually have it pretty good right where you are.
The other two deceptions I see are: 1) Not possessing the proper skills or ability for the new position. 2) Not being the right fit for the new position. I have multiple stories for each, but for the sake of the article I will share one that possesses both:
A while back I witnessed the hiring of a manager whom had enjoyed success at a smaller volume store. His/Her skill set was perfect for that environment. When the opportunity came to work for us, this person moved half way across the country only to find that they were not a good fit. It was like a Cessna pilot being given keys to a Stealth bomber. He/She never even made it off the runway. In the end there was a horrific crash that caused a lot of issues. He/She would have been better off staying where they were, where success had already been achieved.
In closing I ask you to stop and think about the really successful people you have worked with along the journey of your career. I am pretty confident that most of them had been at the same location for a while. With longevity there is often success! So if you are at a crossroads in your career or are thinking about moving along, I encourage you to stop and think really hard about your situation. Ask yourself if it’s really worth starting over and think about the risks involved. These are questions only you can answer. However, if it is possible to press forward in your current situation, I encourage you to do so. These concepts and many more can be found in my book “Modern Day Selling: Unlocking your Hidden Potential.”
Have a super month!
Brian Barfield is a two-time published author, worldwide, who specializes in offering fresh new insight in retail sales training. Modern Day Selling offers a unique perspective in teaching sales associates how to reconnect with their customers and how to achieve greater success in their sales career. For more information please visit his website www.moderndayselling.com. Brian also offers in-store sales training and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.