I was 21 years old and just out of college. Two weeks after graduation, just before my flight out to Chicago for one week of sales training, I got a call from my older brother. He gave me this advice:
“Don’t drink at the company-sponsored dinners.”
Andy warned me that executives watch how the new salespeople behave in such situations and they take note for future reference. As you might imagine, it’s quite easy to let loose when you are young, away from home, and are given the opportunity to eat and drink all you want. Why wouldn’t you? Isn’t this one of the perks of the job? Let’s belly up to the buffet!
My brother’s words have followed me over the years. I don’t answer to anyone but myself at work, but I do want to send the right message to my clients and not leave them with a great story to tell about the time Bill did a Dick Van Dyke-over-the-Ottoman tumble on his way back from the bar.
It’s just not worth it.
There is something to be said for a salesperson who carries him/herself with the utmost professionalism, cares about how s/he looks and dresses, and behaves as if his/her mother is watching him/her at all times. These are the kinds of people that others look at with admiration. That’s not to say that you need to be a Scripture-quoting teetotaler, but remember this the next time you are given the opportunity: What kind of story do you want people to tell about you the next day?