Sales Reps, Choose Your Friends Wisely or Suffer

BY Rachel Cagle
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Remember how your parents, teachers, kid’s cartoon characters, etc. always told you to choose your friends wisely? You probably didn’t think much of the lesson at the time and forgot about it as you grew up. But this advice isn’t just for kids. According to Leslie Becker-​Phelps, writing for WebMD, your personal friendships can also impact your career.

Choose Your Friends Wisely: Sage Advice for Sales Reps


SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep 2020 survey says that 59.44% of salespeople believe that confidence is the most important characteristic a rep can possess. If you’re working for the right company, confidence in the product you’re selling is easy to gain. It’s confidence in oneself that is often the challenge.

If you don’t choose your friends wisely, confidence in yourself can be even more difficult to achieve. “How your friends think about and respond to you will, over time, have a strong influence on your perceptions of yourself,” says Becker-​Phelps. “Friends who treat you less favorably will likely have a negative effect on who you become.” Instead of working to improve yourself, you could fall into a depression and become stagnant in your growth.

Working Hard

Friends also tend to influence each other’s levels of success. An article by SoFi uses the example of a study on college students conducted by HSE Centre for Institutional Studies. “Researchers concluded that while the students didn’t choose their friends because of their friends’ grades, those who hung out with high achievers improved their own performance. And what about those who hung out with underachievers? You guessed it–their grades dropped.” This is exactly why you should choose your friends wisely. When you spend your free time with people who work hard to excel in their field of work, you’ll be motivated to do the same. On the other hand, if you hang out with people who can’t even be motivated to find steady work to pay their bills or are constantly calling off to laze around the house and do nothing, you’ll subconsciously be influenced to follow suit.

Money and Free Time

Finding a work-​life balance is the key to a healthy life. What you choose to spend your money and free time on has just as much of an influence on the balance as your job does. Becker-​Phelps points out that friends’ interests tend to rub off on one another, so choose your friends wisely.

For example, if you’re friends with someone who drinks every night, you could begin seeing that as normal. And I’m not talking about a glass of wine or a single beer to take the edge off with dinner. If you follow in your friend’s footsteps, you could be spending too much money on alcohol, putting yourself in a bad financial situation. This will cause you to be constantly stressed out. You could also begin coming into work hungover multiple times per week, which will negatively impact your work performance.

Instead, seek out friends who will motivate you to become the person you want to be. Find friends who read or listen to podcasts that can expand your mind both for work and leisure. Choose friends who will motivate you to reach your health and fitness goals and maybe even go to the gym with you. And above all, choosing your friends wisely means befriending those who will support you when you’re bettering yourself and call you out when you’re not.

Check out tomorrow's blog for part two: work friends.