How to Avoid TOXIC Waste in Sales – 6 Steps to Practice

I’ve been there a million times…

You could be a frontline salesperson or a sales leader, it doesn’t matter…these people always seem to creep into your space eventually. They can wreak havoc on your calendar as well as your psyche.

In other blogs and videos we have discussed whom you should surround yourself with and why coaching and peer-to-peer mentorship is so vital. While it’s obvious that you should have mentors and coaches that are ‘above’ you in the hierarchy, solid collaboration with co-workers is also critical. There are actually 4 types of coaching you should seek out.

Watch this if you haven’t:

In this article we are going to focus on and discuss the mildly (or more obviously) TOXIC individuals that can sneak into your bubble. We’re also going to give you some definite tools and thoughts to deal with them. The reason that this subject is worth our time is because your ability to perform effectively can be affected if you do not adopt strategies that will allow you to deal with these toxic kind of people.


While I can certainly spend time advising you how to spot them, I will assume you have a reasonably high IQ and we will move on and discuss  how to deal with the scenario.

  1. Establish BOUNDARIES

The very first thing I need you to get a handle on is that every top producer and leader in sales has their personal boundaries in place. There is a very thin line between being polite and friendly to a person and allowing them to get under your skin or into your head. Top performers understand this line and do not allow these toxic people to take charge, but rather choose to set effective boundaries.

  1. Avoid NEGATIVITY (For the sake of negativity)

The words that come out of people’s mouths affect you. Don’t pretend they don’t. Amateurs often suck into black holes of negativity. Pros have mastered the ability to ensure that the negative remarks of others do not affect their strong sense of accomplishment. Toxic people love to drag down salespeople having success. They gain a twisted level of satisfaction from watching you fall apart. Don’t listen too hard to the opinions of others; especially those you know do not have your well-being at heart. Once you identify a toxic person, work hard to put some space between yourself and them.

  1. Stay RESULTS Focused

For the love of God…please stay focused on what you want to and need to accomplish for you and your family. You are on commission…that negative dude isn’t going to pay your bills. Don’t focus or fixate on the negative or useless drama—instead, focus on your goals.

  1. Stay Close to Your MENTORS

Top performers know that the connection with their coaches and mentors is critical. They reach out to their trainers and coaches often. They know that whatever challenges are in front of them, their coaches have also experienced. Emotionally evolved people understand how to tap into their resources to get through the challenges of working with toxic people.

  1. Conserve ENERGY

Toxic people love anarchy. They thrive on chaos. They will do anything to pull you down in the mud with them. Learn to identify the people and situations that are chaotic and make your plans to avoid them. Those people and scenarios can suck you dry of energy. You need your energy for activity and production, not for the B.S. they will drag you into.

  1. Know YOURSELF

Salespeople that WIN begin to become very COGNIZANT of themselves. They know their own buttons and they don’t allow others to push them. Lack of emotional control is a great way to empower the toxic people in your life.

Bottom line…

Pigs don’t know pigs stink!

In many cases, these TOXIC people aren’t evil. A lot of times they aren’t consciously or intentionally trying to drag you down with them, it’s just that they can’t help themselves. They have been negative or toxic for so long it’s a way of life for them. They have no idea how screwed up they are and they have found a few others just like them to commiserate with.

Identify them and avoid them at all costs!

If you haven’t had a chance to read my book, The CAP Equation, A Foolproof Formula for Unlimited Success in Sales, please click on the link below. It’s now available on Amazon:

The CAP Equation© website offers great content for commission salespeople and sales leaders. Please click on the link below for free instant access:


Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at:


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