Your time and energy are limited.
As a sales professional (or human being), you cannot give every person who demands your time equal attention.
While we need to be kind and courteous to everybody, we need to be violently intentional about the people into whom we invest our time.
Family and Friends: Our closest family – our spouse and children – are most worthy of our time. Those are our primary relationships. Extended family and friends come next, but we must be careful. Some family and old buddies do not have your best interest at heart. They might not be worth your investment.
Colleagues: Your boss, direct reports, and colleagues all might be worthy of your investment of time and energy – but not all equally. Some of these do not deserve your time. You do not have to be arrogant about this, but you do need to be honest about who sucks your energy and limits your effectiveness. Tread lightly and exchange pleasantries, but don’t pour your heart out either professionally or personally.
Clients: Here is where things get tricky. All clients are not created equal. Will your client allow you to do good work for him for a fair price? Will your client make use of the best your product or service has to offer? Or will your client try to squeeze you at every turn – demanding discounts, taxing your support staff with unrealistic requests and expectations, berating you when things don’t go exactly as hoped?
You only have so much time. Spend it wisely on the people who you can help grow and who will help you grow. It’s simply not worth pouring your heart out for people who do not care about you. Even if you’re in sales.