If you don’t agree that SE’s need grit and determination, and just pure technical knowledge to succeed. You can turn away, cause this post isn’t for you. I also stand corrected to say that this isn’t the only way to succeed, but I do feel that having these characteristics would make us better as SE’s. Often time, grit and determination also breeds passion and aggressiveness, so I may use the terms interchangeably.
Having been at a start-up and multiple large establish organisations, I have noticed the difference in SE characteristics. I know I’m generalising, but its obvious that SE’s at start-ups have way more aggression, grit and determination when compared to those in large organisations. It could just be the nature of start-ups in survival mode, resulting in employees fighting harder.
Does that mean in large organisations when stuff just sells, you could cruise and do less? In some ways you can because a loss deal doesn’t always spell disaster, but can you imagine what it could do for the business if you were equally as hungry as your counterpart at a start-up? Believe it or not customers do feel the difference and it sometimes come across as “you are not interested in winning my business”.
In an Asian context, it is in our nature to be humble, embrace humility and everything that resonates with moderation. When an individual exhibits traits of aggression and grit, it is perceived to be undesirable. I for one am completely oppose to that. I believe its born out of circumstances and have much to do with personality. Having said that, I am also a strong believer that grit, determination, passion and aggression adds depth to whatever it is we do as SE’s.
If you still reading this, you are probably already thinking along the same lines as I do. So how do you train yourself to be align to those ideals? Here are some of the questions I often ask myself.
Do you want to win more than the next guy?
What are you doing more to achieve that?
If the door shuts on you, are you sure there is no way around it at all?
Can you get creative with your solution? Partners? Collaboration? Etc?
Do you wait or do you do it now? What if you do it later? Are you sure between now and then it will be status quo?
Is it your problem or someone else’s?
It may sound like questions sales reps should be asking, but in actuality this is how SE’s should be thinking to. If you are equally as driven as your sales rep, you both are destined for success.
Luck favors those who work harder.