Held To Ransom

If I asked you to identify somebody in your team whom you’d prefer not to have working in your company, would a name or names come to mind?

Let’s focus on your salespeople. Do all have good attitudes? Do they contribute to the company? Are they supportive of you and fellow team members? Do they work hard? Do they have good client reviews?

Tolerate a bad attitude and behaviour and you validate them. Culture goes out the window and toxicity takes its place.

No doubt you know the type I’m talking about – they complain that there isn’t enough marketing, or that the support isn’t up to standard. They threaten to leave and go ‘up the road’. Perhaps they ask for a bigger commission percentage, or bully other salespeople, particularly rookies.

If you worry about losing such a person, you are being held to ransom – “Do what I want, or I’ll leave!”.

Have you ever had somebody like this leave…. and then the stories come out? Team members tell you things about that person you’d never heard before. It’s as though the company breathes fresh air again.

If you have a person like this, ask yourself whether they are really such a great loss.

Conduct a ‘Valuation’ of this person.

Is he/she a true top performer? How many of this person’s listing sell each month? How much does this person produce in gross fees per annum? If it’s under $300,000 you can replace this person with little effort.

You often find that the ‘600-pound gorilla’ isn’t the great performer he’d have you believe. Often such people are highly-paid low performers.

Next, ask the question, “How much business would you have lost if that salesperson had not been with you? Would another salesperson have got those listings and sales?

Another question: “How much net profit would have been lost?” It’s usually too low to worry about.

Instead of being held to ransom by salespeople with a bad attitude and obstructive or toxic behaviour, get into recruiting. Despite what you may believe, there are good people out there, people who have been laid off, or who don’t like their current jobs.

You need systems for attracting applicants, sorting and testing, and induction systems to get your recruits as productive as possible in the shortest time possible. Pittard can help you with these systems or you can design your own.

But whatever you do, use a recruiting system, or you will resort to the worst recruiting method possible – poaching competitors’ salespeople. This is a sure road to mediocrity.

Don’t say, “I can’t find good people”. These are profit-killing words. Thanks to COVID, the pool of potential recruits is deeper.

Don’t be at the mercy of toxic salespeople. Don’t be held to ransom. You won’t believe how good business can be until you have a winning team made up of the right people.

Gary Pittard

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