Hero image of Brian McCauley, ProSales columnist

A while back my youngest son decided that college was no longer for him, and he wanted to get into one of the union trades. After a little thought, he settled on Local 502 HVAC Service Technician. We reached out to a friend of mine in that trade who gave my son a sound piece of advice during their first meeting. He said: “We’re having this conversation because your dad is a friend of mine, but what you do after this meeting is all up to you. Keep these two things in mind while going through this program and you will be just fine. Show up and care.”

I recently thought back to that conversation and believe that would be good advice to a lot of young people entering the workforce, even salespeople. So, let’s dig into “Show Up and Care” more for this column.

Show Up: You could really break Show Up into three categories: show up for work, show up for your family, and show up for yourself. Showing up at work means working hard every day, seeking new business opportunities every day, and working efficiently every day. And when things inevitably go sideways from time to time, Show Up also means not hiding from a negative situation. Get out in front of it, attack it head on, get it fixed, and move on. Nobody likes bad news, but people generally deal with bad news better when they know about it early and can plan for it. Working through bad news is also easier when the customer knows the salesperson is not hiding from it, but instead is working diligently to fix it. Showing up for your family requires a healthy work-life balance. I know many of you take great pride in your job, the company you work for, and your performance. Many times, our job becomes an extension of who we are - it identifies us. Although, it’s just as important to never lose sight of the fact that you work to live, not live to work. Let’s not forget about Showing Up for you. You know there are certain things you should be doing for you…sleep and exercise are two examples. But we often forget those things in our normal busy lives. Being there for your family requires a healthy you, and a healthy you requires a little time spent on yourself. Spending some time on “you” should not be seen as selfish, but a requirement for you to be the best version of you for the ones you love.

Care: When the word “care” was mentioned to my son, the meaning was, just care about your work, take pride in the work you do, combine effort with personal accountability and you will be just fine. When exploring the word “care” in a salesperson’s life, things like attention to detail, avoiding short-cuts, embracing the grind, and getting in the business of helping people come to mind. Embrace taking responsibility for your results. The results you get are yours – others may help or hinder them, but your results are YOUR results. Don’t like your results…what are you going to do differently moving forward to affect change to your results? Are you willing to hold yourself accountable to the behavior changes needed to impact your results? Sales is a profession, and not just a job. True sales professionals are always looking to get better, they care about their performance, they care about their company, and they care about their customers.

My hope is that a simple piece of advice like “Show up and care” can help all of us in some way as we continue in our chosen careers as “Professional Salespeople.” Happy Selling!!