Tips for Handling The Talker and The Slacker

Do you have a pet personality peeve? Maybe it’s the guy who won’t stop talking during meetings or the gal who's constantly playing video games instead of working. Regardless of who is driving you crazy at the office, you must find a professional and positive way to deal with the situation if you want to advance your sales career.  Alison Green, writing for DailyWorth​.com, has a few ideas about what you can do.

The Talker

We all know how frustrating it can be when The Talker gets control of a meeting. You might have an important client call scheduled or maybe you need to finish the presentation you started this morning. The problem is The Talker is in love with the sound of his own voice. If this is your meeting, you owe it to everyone who’s sitting around the table to get control of the situation.  Keep things positive by telling The Talker you need to stick to the agenda to make sure everything’s covered. If The Talker starts to bring up topics which aren’t on the agenda, ask him to hold his thoughts and suggestions until the next meeting. The point is you need to speak up to get The Talker under control.

The Slacker

Keeping schedules on track is especially challenging when it comes to dealing with The Slacker. You know the deal. This is the person who’s watching a video on her phone while everyone else in a meeting is talking about how to make a sale to the prospect who keeps cancelling meetings.  The Slacker is also the one who comes up with excuses about why she hasn’t finished a big project.

If The Slacker is your co-​worker, tread carefully. Complaining about her could irritate your boss. As Green points out, it’s possible your boss already knows about the slacking and is taking appropriate steps. If The Slacker’s misbehavior is not impacting your position, try to ignore what is going on. But if The Slacker is one of your direct reports, you need to take action — like putting her on a performance plan — before your other team members get demoralized.

Read the rest of Green's suggestions for dealing with annoying co-​workers and start developing strategies to work effectively with them, especially if you need their help to close an important deal.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.