The question arises for me about the stereotypical image of the pushy, arrogant Sales Rep/Mgr/Dir. From Glengarry Glen Ross onward, that image holds. Now, in some cases [and, to be fair, some personalities], that approach can & does actually work…only much less than it ever used to.
From my perspective: You can sell well, have an ego…and NOT be arrogant. As we are in 2009, I think of the many ‘preening peacocks’ that I have known, working for huge media operations…now gone, laid off, booted. Bye bye. Dozens of these Group Publisher/Ad Director-types, coming in from all the big names. These people would walk into an OMD, or Goodby, or wherever, thinking they owned the joint. Please.
Why? Maybe because the huge media operation [that is now reeling, not so huge, and letting them go] they worked for allowed them to be that way. Or worse, expected them to be that way. The good Agency people no doubt snickered at such stuff then, and they for sure are now, as TV rates hold or drop, Magazines crater, and Newspaper goes over the cliff. So, what was the point? These people thought they had standing to demand 6% y/y rate increases because of ‘who they are’? Spare me.
No, in Sales you must have an Ego, to give you confidence, but you do not have to be arrogant. In fact, a truly confident person would NEVER allow arrogance to get in the way of the Main Event…focusing on your client’s needs, and then closing the deal.
Doing the opposite is for preening peacocks…or just poppycock. In fact, knowing that I have worked to largely removed the Arrogance factor from what I do allows me to have happy agency/client contacts in which to ‘Sell it Forward’ for what I hope is many years to come. How’s that for an Ego trip~?!? Well, sort of, anyway.