The High Price of Business Lost to the Competition

“Mediocrity requires a big cheque book.”

Gary Pittard

The quality of a sales team should be the main priority for all agency leaders. Allow incompetence to fester in your sales team and the losses can be huge.

Many agency leaders express concern over their present teams. Leaders say that they wish their salespeople would prospect more, were better closers, would lose fewer listings to the competition. These skill and activity deficiencies are the primary reasons why business is lost to the competition, and the price is not just a lost sale, but a massive loss of income and profit.

If you don’t believe me, calculate the cost yourself. Is it reasonable to believe that a salesperson can lose one listing a month to the competition? Let’s say the number is 10 listings per year. At a list-to-sell ratio of 70%, that’s seven sales lost by this salesperson. Multiply seven sales by your gross average fee – let’s say $10,000 – and this salesperson has lost $70,000 in fees to the competition.

It gets worse,  if you have four salespeople who each lose 7 sales to the competition, that’s $280,000 in fees your agency didn’t receive. That would pay for a lot of training. That’s why I say mediocrity needs a big cheque book!

So, what can you do about it?

  • The first thing you can do is train your team. Training should be regular and high quality. A one-hour training meeting once per week, a three-day sales seminar once a year, and regular testing to ensure that the knowledge is being retained can sharpen up your team.

Nobody should be exempt from training. Everybody trains. Allow any team member to show a disdain for training and you send a message that training is not important. Training is important, and in the best offices, it’s compulsory.

  • Actions expectations are the second thing that leaders can address. Every day, salespeople must be involved in activities that generate business. For example, if you allow salespeople to avoid prospecting, this will cause your agency to slide into mediocrity.
  • The third thing leaders can do to improve the quality of their teams is to remove those who will not train, and/or who will not do the actions necessary to get the results the leader expects from each salesperson.

Retain mediocre salespeople and your entire team will become mediocre over time.

Why do leaders keep the wrong people on their teams? The answer is that they have nobody to replace those who leave or who are terminated.

Recruiting is the answer to that challenge. Agencies must have a proven recruitment system that guarantees a flow of new talent into the agency. Every team can benefit from some ‘fresh blood’ and the enthusiasm that comes with a new salesperson.

But a word of warning: recruit without a system for finding, training and inducting new salespeople and you set yourself, and the recruits, up for almost certain failure.

Think about it: how much better would your agency’s results, and profit, be if you had a team of highly trained and active salespeople?

It doesn’t happen by accident – it happens through focused leadership. Focused on training and developing good people, removing the wrong ones, and recruitment of new people who will train, and who will do the right actions.

Do this, or lose business to the competition, and pay a high price for doing so. It’s your choice.

If you doubt it can be done, let me introduce you to plenty of city and regional leaders who ARE doing it.

Gary Pittard

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