When I was recruiting a call center staff for a Fortune 500 company, one of my associates fielded an inquiry from an applicant, and then handed the phone to me.
"The job sounds interesting," the caller said, and then she whispered, "But is there a window?"
I wasn't sure about what she meant.
"Is there a window in your call center? Can you see out, when you're calling? I have to have a window, or I'll go crazy!"
I told her there was a window, with a beautiful view of the parking lot, but she had to be standing next to the copier to see it.
"Sorry, that won't do. Bye!"
Well, you have to hand it to her. She knows the conditions under which she works best.
Can you say the same thing about yourself?
For instance, do you think you would make more sales if you were asked to make cold calls from your own, private office or while seated in a bullpen with a number of other people around you?
I believe 90% would do better while seated in a bullpen, but a very small percentage would realize it.
Here's my reasoning:
(1) We think privacy is superior, and that peace and quiet will facilitate intimacy with customers. Not so, peace and quiet will probably make you timid, and reluctant to dial the next number. The corner office will confer more status, but fewer sales.
(2) When we're selling together, it's like hunting in a pack. We're more outgoing and we don't want to let each other down.
(3) By being within view or earshot of others we are pressured to make the next call, and the one after that. Without that pressure, we can lapse into needless contemplation of our navels.
(4) We crave reinforcement, and when we do something well, publicly, we get it, and quickly. It's no fun celebrating alone.
(5) Work is, in part a social outlet. When my former professor, Peter F. Drucker, used to comment about retirement, he said most folks who hang up their spurs don't miss the work, itself. "It's the gossip they miss," he mused.
So, if you have a choice, pull up a cubicle and sell next to someone else. Not only will you keep each other company; you'll probably both make more sales!