Six-Month Trial

Written By:

Lynn Whitbeck

My company hired two people for one sales position, and we have a six-month trial period. Whichever of us is more successful will get the position permanently. It’s been a couple of months, and my co-worker is getting more sales than me. How can I boost my performance and not let the stress get to me? I really like this job, and I want to keep it. – Bayklee in San Antonio, TX 


LYNN: Bayklee, you need to maintain a positive mindset and emotionally distance yourself from the pressure of competition.

I know this is easier said than done. Focus on building relationships and making genuine connections with your clients and prospects. Remember that you are in control of your own performance. Be attentive, respond promptly and thoroughly, and show your passion to deliver solutions to your customers. Make your own mark.

You’ll be pleased to discover that many companies are anxious to hire experienced, proactive sales people. This company could surprise you by discovering they have two positions open for trained and proven sales professionals, such as yourself. Either way, you will have added new skills and experience you can leverage in your next position. Give it everything you’ve got. You go girl!

TINA: Bayklee, first, I cannot tell from your question what industry you are in. Regardless, generally speaking, were you aware that there was a competitive trial when you accepted this position? If so, did you – or have you – asked what the term “success” was in the opinion of your management? Was it based strictly on sales volume, or number of contacts made, or number of products/services presented? There is a huge difference between an evaluation based upon sales volume versus the ability to establish relationships and consulting on the depth and breadth of relationships.

That qualifier becomes a way to differentiate the type of sales person you are today and may become tomorrow. There is an overused phrase in sales circles: “Are you a hunter or a farmer?” Hunting typically means can you identify, and sell, quickly. A farmer typically is represented by someone that has a nurturing attitude towards the sales relationship.

Long answer to your question: What is your preferred method of conversing with potential clients? You most likely know that answer, and it can inform your inner strength to approach the six-month evaluation. Stay focused and listen. Knowledge is power – always. Be prepared and proud to present your accomplishments at the end of this trial.

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