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Michael Pecoraro

New Contributor
Mar 4, 2019
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I started at this new company 3 years ago, it has become the best job I've ever had. The person who hired me is the VP of sales, his father owns the company. I've been burned so many times in the past by other jobs that I was very unsure about this position. I was in an interview to be a global account manager (sales) for a small family owned company. The sales positions I've had in the past were commission based and the people who hired me lied about advancements and pay opportunity. 3 years ago I decided to take another chance with the VP, who is now a good friend and mentor. Everything he has said up to this point has come true, this has been an amazing experience. My mentor believes in tough love, and always saying whats on his mind. This is one of the traits I respect the most about him. My first year and a half at the company I dominated, closed some big accounts and did very well. I don't know what happened, I think i'm beginning to figure out why, but recently I'm having a lot of trouble closing deals. I lost 8 out of 12 deals recently and I feel mediocre, at best. My boss sat me down, and told me he is trying to figure out why i'm having issues closing and he hates that i'm not making the money I should be. He said I need to figure this out on my own because he can only do so much, and maybe sales isn't for me anymore. Maybe this place is too much for me and I may need to think about possible finding another company. He said he does not want to see me leave, he would hate it, but it's something I should think about. My question is, i had a rush of emotions and it hurt, bad, it felt like I failed him. I wanted to honestly cry, I am very angry about this. How do you keep your emotion out of all this to come back and kick a$$? I do not want to cry and show emotion in front of everyone. I know he cares, and I respect what he said, but leaving is not an option for me. How do people put emotion aside in tough situations like this?
 

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B. Cole

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I started at this new company 3 years ago, it has become the best job I've ever had. The person who hired me is the VP of sales, his father owns the company. I've been burned so many times in the past by other jobs that I was very unsure about this position. I was in an interview to be a global account manager (sales) for a small family owned company. The sales positions I've had in the past were commission based and the people who hired me lied about advancements and pay opportunity. 3 years ago I decided to take another chance with the VP, who is now a good friend and mentor. Everything he has said up to this point has come true, this has been an amazing experience. My mentor believes in tough love, and always saying whats on his mind. This is one of the traits I respect the most about him. My first year and a half at the company I dominated, closed some big accounts and did very well. I don't know what happened, I think i'm beginning to figure out why, but recently I'm having a lot of trouble closing deals. I lost 8 out of 12 deals recently and I feel mediocre, at best. My boss sat me down, and told me he is trying to figure out why i'm having issues closing and he hates that i'm not making the money I should be. He said I need to figure this out on my own because he can only do so much, and maybe sales isn't for me anymore. Maybe this place is too much for me and I may need to think about possible finding another company. He said he does not want to see me leave, he would hate it, but it's something I should think about. My question is, i had a rush of emotions and it hurt, bad, it felt like I failed him. I wanted to honestly cry, I am very angry about this. How do you keep your emotion out of all this to come back and kick a$$? I do not want to cry and show emotion in front of everyone. I know he cares, and I respect what he said, but leaving is not an option for me. How do people put emotion aside in tough situations like this?
Do not cry. Dominate this shit, man up and think deep.

What are you doing wrong? You did good before, so you can’t be in complete oblivion. What changed? Has the newness worn off, have you lost interest or gotten too comfortable?

Kudos to your boss for being straight with you, he did you right by letting you know that you’re slipping. I’d figure out what I’m doing wrong, put together a plan to fix it and ask him for a one on one to go over it, ask his input and what he thinks. If he truly values you, he’ll open up to help you out.
 
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Michael Pecoraro

New Contributor
Mar 4, 2019
5
2
13
Do not cry. Dominate this shit, man up and think deep.

What are you doing wrong? You did good before, so you can’t be in complete oblivion. What changed? Has the newness worn off, have you lost interest or gotten too comfortable?

Kudos to your boss for being straight with you, he did you right by letting you know that you’re slipping. I’d figure out what I’m doing wrong, put together a plan to fix it and ask him for a one on one to go over it, ask his input and what he thinks. If he truly values you, he’ll open up to help you out.
After the initial pitch, I would circle back with the customer every week or so to see where the proposal was at, or thoughts on the solutions. My mentor or the other manager would be on the call with me, they would create urgency with the customer. After a year I did these update calls on my own, that is where i started to go down hill. I wasn't creating urgency, I would just see if there was an update, if not, I would settle then see if there was more news in another week or so. This turned into customers pushing me off their priorities for months. That is the main change from when I was killing it, until now. I have no lost the desire, I love the company I am at. I talked to my boss and we came up with a list of changes to help me close. I am great with getting customers in the door, but closing has been a big issue. Side note - when I was being told the truth, pretty harshly, but needed. I couldn't really speak my mind because I was overcome with emotion, it felt like if I did talk I would of broken down. The main reason this happened is because my mentor is a good friend and I really care about his opinion. How do you control emotion in tough situations like that?
 
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Michael Pecoraro

New Contributor
Mar 4, 2019
5
2
13
After the initial pitch, I would circle back with the customer every week or so to see where the proposal was at, or thoughts on the solutions. My mentor or the other manager would be on the call with me, they would create urgency with the customer. After a year I did these update calls on my own, that is where i started to go down hill. I wasn't creating urgency, I would just see if there was an update, if not, I would settle then see if there was more news in another week or so. This turned into customers pushing me off their priorities for months. That is the main change from when I was killing it, until now. I have no lost the desire, I love the company I am at. I talked to my boss and we came up with a list of changes to help me close. I am great with getting customers in the door, but closing has been a big issue. Side note - when I was being told the truth, pretty harshly, but needed. I couldn't really speak my mind because I was overcome with emotion, it felt like if I did talk I would of broken down. The main reason this happened is because my mentor is a good friend and I really care about his opinion. How do you control emotion in tough situations like that?
Do not cry. Dominate this shit, man up and think deep.

What are you doing wrong? You did good before, so you can’t be in complete oblivion. What changed? Has the newness worn off, have you lost interest or gotten too comfortable?

Kudos to your boss for being straight with you, he did you right by letting you know that you’re slipping. I’d figure out what I’m doing wrong, put together a plan to fix it and ask him for a one on one to go over it, ask his input and what he thinks. If he truly values you, he’ll open up to help you out.
I just read the beginning to your response, I appreciate it! I didn't see your full reply before.
 

B. Cole

In thine hand is power and might.
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I just read the beginning to your response, I appreciate it! I didn't see your full reply before.
Cool, so you know that you need to work on your urgency to close deals. Now you have a target to shoot at. Is your sense of urgency lacking because you lack confidence, or are you too nice (I have this problem)? Let’s identify some coaching opportunities that target urgency - a quick google search brings up a ton of stuff. Would your boss be open to direct coaching? Having him in your corner could boost your confidence until you have your own back. Sounds like plenty of room for discussion and mentoring with your boss. Perhaps sign up for some training outside of work and show him what you’ve done.

In my day job, we’ll put people on a PIP (performance improvement plan) to help overcome issues like this. It has achievable goals, training and deadlines with an end date where the expected performance improvements have been made.
 

Rabby

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It's possible to burn out in sales (temporarily, one would hope), and this depends a little on your outlook.

Do you feel generally positive and optimistic when you start your week, or do you wish the weekend wouldn't end? I would start there. Figure out if your sales lifestyle is at odds with something else you want. What are you looking to do?

Not wanting to let people down is a commendable feeling. I don't know if it's enough to keep someone going in a sales role though. Don't feel bad about yourself, but do think honestly about how you feel toward work. It might be something you can solve with some self analysis.

Side note... are you an equity partner, or working on a venture that you own? I only ask because of the entrepreneur focus of the forum.

Good luck :)
 
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Michael Pecoraro

New Contributor
Mar 4, 2019
5
2
13
Cool, so you know that you need to work on your urgency to close deals. Now you have a target to shoot at. Is your sense of urgency lacking because you lack confidence, or are you too nice (I have this problem)? Let’s identify some coaching opportunities that target urgency - a quick google search brings up a ton of stuff. Would your boss be open to direct coaching? Having him in your corner could boost your confidence until you have your own back. Sounds like plenty of room for discussion and mentoring with your boss. Perhaps sign up for some training outside of work and show him what you’ve done.

In my day job, we’ll put people on a PIP (performance improvement plan) to help overcome issues like this. It has achievable goals, training and deadlines with an end date where the expected performance improvements have been made.
It's from being overly nice, that's for sure. My boss is always up for coaching, he's very approachable and loves to help. We came up with ways to set urgency to possible customers that fell through in the past and new ones. I ordered a couple books off amazon about sales and also will go to toastmasters by my house. It's a professional speaking group, they have locations throughout the U.S. They are probably by you as well. I'm not at the bottom, as sales employees go, I'm still beating the majority in GP, but I should be at the top. My boss coughs and does a million a GP every year, even though he focuses on developing his employees and not selling. My first year I did 50k in GP, second year 245k GP, ending last year I only did 242k in GP, so no growth. I lost a gigantic account (no fault of my own, IT messed up orders and customer walked). So I had to make up what I lost last year.. and now losing 8 out 12 deals was just another big hit. I'm ready to get back on top of it all, I was meant to do this.
 

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