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2nd Spring? Working with Mid or Late Career Sales Consultants

By Percy Chong, 12th March 2015

Is there any difference between developing the younger or the mid/late career sales consultants? And who has a greater chance for sales success?

After holding on to the dogma that you can’t teach old dog new tricks for years…ASG is taking a more balance approach and revisit the paradigm that “old” can be good. And it may indeed be possible for old dogs to master and even excel in “new” tricks!

With so much spoken about recruiting and developing new and younger consultants, we sometimes have forgotten about the inherent strength that the “older” sales consultant possessed and the immense contribution that they may bring to the organisation.

Age brings with it, greater self-control and discipline, wisdom, more measured approach when dealing with matters and prospects, more responsible with calibrated priorities, and the invaluable knowledge of knowing oneself. Intimate self knowledge allows the consultant to be able to navigate, as well as plan ahead across the complex inner “trapping” or area of shortcomings, to avoid the unnecessary emotional turmoil that will surface when confronted with our inner “demons”!

On top of these advantages, there is also the experience…the calibrated judgment and ability to anticipate correctly when dealing with prospects, these qualities usually comes with age. Such experience takes time and a whole lot of exposure before it can be honed. And we have not even considered their higher level or quality of prospect/contacts (ie. natural market).

With so much working for them, why then are “older” consultants having it tough or not enough of them succeeding in a big way, or even not enough of them being targeted for recruitment in a selling career?

Perhaps the answer can be found in the “baggage” from the past, that “older” consultants are perceived to be carrying. The value of the experience that they bring may also be a double-edge sword. “Negative” experiences may find its way into the consultant’s life and burden or block him.

But all things being equal, the young consultants are also not spared from these potential limiting conditions. Having limited exposure does not mean that they are immune or do not carry any burdens or blockages. It simply means that the younger chaps’ inherent conditions are manifested in different forms.

ASG has identified that the most common “baggage” or challenges that “older” consultants or even younger ones faced, is taking the first step! Stepping out of the comfort zone (ie. adopting a “new” way of living) and diving into the unknown seems to paralyse everyone, young and old. Fear is not exclusive to any age group and it paralyses all and inhibits development.

Overcoming this initial fear would unlock the huge reservoir of potential that the “older” consultants are gifted with. The perennial excuse of the lack of stamina that many used, will quickly dissipate with a renew confidence, new perspective and solution to mitigate any earlier concerns, once the decision is made to break the “curse”!

Productivity as well as success for them may just leaped frog ahead of others, with so many lessons learned from previous learning curve to tap on. And there is really very little obstacle that can block an individual with greater self-control, awareness, knowledge, life-experience and tact, provided that he brings it all together!

With much benefit to gain, it only makes sense for mid or late career consultants to be considered for sales position; and for any “older” sales consultant who is reading, to bring all your qualities together and not let the self-limiting conditions hold you back from tasting the new wine that 2nd spring brings!

Article contributed by Percy Chong (through Asian Sales Guru)
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