Sales Tip of the Week from Mike Leeds – Pro Sales Coaching
Is it PC to support your sports team?
I saw my neighbor a couple of days ago wearing a t-shirt for the "Big Game" and sporting both Cardinals and Steelers logos. He said that he wore it to work, and thought he would keep things neutral and politically correct.
My blog on September 21, 2008 discussed being careful about discussing politics in the workplace or on sales calls. Since we are a week away from the "Big Game", let's take a slightly different direction about discussing how you support your favorite sports team in the workplace or on sales calls.
Bottom line – I say go for it! However, please keep the following in mind:
Supporting your team - You can say positive things about your team, but please resist slamming the opponent (take the high road).
Sharing your views on the street - You can decorate your car with flags, bumper stickers, or have grease pen messages in the window (again take the high road & avoid road-rage). However, if it's a company vehicle – this is definitely the boss's call.
Fashion statement - As far as attire, stay within your company guidelines. For instance don't wear a team t-shirt if your company prohibits t-shirts. Go for a collared team shirt or a lapel pin (or hold out for a dress-down or casual day).
Your world - Banners or pennants in your office/workspace – I think it's great as long as you're prepared to back them up and defend them. Keep this in your own personal space.
Hair fashions and body art – Stay within your company guidelines and your customers' expectations. Consider the temporary alternatives since that hair die, or logo shaved in your head may not work for you weeks after the game. Consult your company guidelines for exposed tattoos, and keep in mind that things may change (i.e. Kobe Bryant and Dale Earnhardt Jr. changed their numbers).
Act with dignity – After the game is over, celebrate with your "teammates" but take the high road with the people that supported the other team. Honestly this is sport (it's a game), it's an escape, and it's also a very lucrative business. However, to some people it will be a traumatic experience, and you don't need to alienate them.
This is all in fun but while on sales calls, you can discuss your team or the upcoming game briefly as an ice breaker. However, concentrate on your business topic - focus on helping people by solving their business problems and fulfilling their business needs. I recognize that successful sellers concentrate on relationship building – but focus on the specifics of their business and… If the person that signs your paycheck (the boss or your customer) supports the "other" team – all bets are off!
Have a great sales week!