Thursday, 24 October 2013

Does disloyalty ever Sell? The Universal badge of honour in Selling

You may still wear a conference lapel badge with your company name, you still carry your company business card but gone are the days for many in Selling of wearing company uniforms, company ties, company lapel badges yet there is one universal badge of honour for  all Salespeople:-


But what happens to loyalty in business when you become a ‘gossip’, a ‘tell tale’, a ‘snitch’, a ‘grass’, a ‘sneak’ or grumbler ?

In our social media selling age , our loyalty is  tested daily  in our posts ‘on  facebook/ Linked In   and  tweets on twitter.

Yet divided loyalties can act as an irresistible pull in us to want to ‘put the record straight ‘.

Captains of Industry often choose to do this by writing or co/writing an autobiography.

Sir Alex won 38 major trophies for Manchester United including

1 Club World Cup
2 Champions Leagues
13 premier leagues
5 FA Cups

One would have thought that Sir Alec Ferguson’s track record  – let alone a Knighthood would be enough of a great record.

 Yet he feels called upon to justify past decisions.

Now that Sir Alex has retired from Manchester United ( he still serves as a director), the final whistle has be blown as a manager. He feels entitled to exchange his infamous verbal hair-dryer to the script of a  ‘whistle-blower.’

“It’s not about settling scores; it’s explaining why we took certain decisions.”

Sir Alex in answer to a question at the launch event of his book.

Sir Alex is respected outside the world of soccer. His experiences of man management will be eagerly read by many in business. His latest autobiography will no doubt be in the Christmas stocking filler of many business executives this year.

His chapter (18) on Psychology I suspect will be read and quoted by many leaders who read his book.

Managing today's sales talents have many parallels with those talents he developed such as Beckham, Ronaldo, Rooney, Scholes, Giggs, Cantona and Nistelrooy

He made the front page with a large photograph on the Financial Times of 23/10/13 no less, which no doubt will further help sales of his book for the Christmas season.

He may well headline the lucrative business conference circuit.

Posterity of Business Quotes:

Similar to the American Football coach Vince Lombardi, quotes of Sir Alex will enter business quotations books.( and quite possibly  may have wise words attributed to him that he never actually said !)

Apparently in his latest autobiography he criticises a former captain of Manchester United, Roy Keane which has led to the former Irish star to say

“ I remember having conversations with the manager ( Ferguson) when I was at the club about loyalty, and, in my opinion I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word… To criticise players who brought him a lot of success I find very, very strange.”

Loyalty in business is an especially important quality in selling.

Professional Salespeople need to be loyal and seen to be loyal.

There will be times where your feelings are torn between divided loyalties of you, your boss, your company, and your customer.

 It is not easy when there is such conflict within the various parties.

I came across an old pocket notebook of mine the other day.  I used to record quotes in my little black book which I felt might come in handy for articles and courses. This quote still resonates.

(For younger readers the old imperial weight measurements referred are an ounce = 28.3495 g    and a pound = 453.592 g )

If you work for a boss, for heaven’s sake work for them
Speak well of them and stand by the institution they represent.

Remember an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness

If you must growl, condemn and eternally find fault - why – resign your position, and when you are on the outside, damn to your hearts content, but as long as you are party to the institution , do not condemn it.

It applies in your loyalty in a  buyer’s office, your company boardroom , a Government Cabinet as much as the changing rooms of professional soccer clubs but maybe not for promoting book sales it seems.

Related Information

My Autobiography by Alex Ferguson is published by Hodder and Stoughton  ISBN 978-0-340-91939-2

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