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Coffee is for Closers

by Randall Craig on June 10, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Motivational, Retention

Tagged as: , ,

Several years ago, a sales manager came into the office with coffee for his team. He distributed the coffee but seemingly ran out before the last rep was served. Needless to say, this person was upset, and spoke up. The manager’s reply: “Coffee is for closers. When you start closing sales, then I buy you coffee.”

While many people would consider this manager to be a bit blunt, most wouldn’t argue with the concept of merit: the harder you work, the better the reward. Yet when others succeed, why is it that we sometimes become stressed or jealous?

To merit a (non-jealous) “coffee”, consider the following concepts:

1) If someone is more successful than you, honestly consider your differences. How do they do their job? What type of professional development are they doing? What are their daily priorities, relative to yours? How do they divide up the day? If you work with a superstar, spend some time thinking about what you can learn from them. It’s more productive than jealousy.

2) Work smarter. Remember your first few days on the job, when you were on a steep learning curve? Pretend that you just arrived on the job, and you had to dive in afresh. What questions would you ask? Who would you choose as your mentor? How would you prioritize your time?

3) Work harder. Put more time towards your critical tasks (and less towards your less important ones.) Focus!

This week’s action item: Do you treat everyone in your office equally? Or do you properly reward those who merit it? If you’re in the habit of buying coffee for your workmates, get a larger size this week for those who have done just a bit more than everyone else.

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Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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