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Beware the Shirkers

When the market shifts, salespeople must shift with it. Conversations that were acceptable in a sellers’ market will not provide good outcomes in stable markets or in buyers’ markets.

Chances are high that your market has shifted to a buyers’ market very quickly. If so, has it caught your salespeople off guard?

In sellers’ markets, conversations around the issue of estimated selling price are different to similar conversations in other markets. I stress that I don’t agree with this conduct, but it was common in sellers’ markets for salespeople avoid price altogether, or to rely on overquoting to win listings. When the market is rising quickly, even salespeople who overquoted to win listings sold those properties because the market rose to a point where it reached the overquoted prices.

Not now. Salespeople must handle price differently, and for leaders who don’t want to see a dip in their profits, they must be mindful that their salespeople aren’t shirking their duty to correctly address price with their sellers.

Beware the shirkers or suffer the consequences.

There are two areas that leaders should address with their salespeople.

  1. Dealing with price at the listing presentation. Sellers must hear an honest estimate of the likely selling range for their property in this current market. If salespeople cannot accurately deliver an honest price estimate and still win the listing, they are not skilled enough to survive in a buyers’ market. Retrain or remove are a leader’s only two options.
  2. In shifting markets, salespeople must address the issue of overpriced listings.

If a property has been on the market for a month and it isn’t ‘cooking’ – it has a party or parties talking about buying it – it is overpriced, and the price must be adjusted.

Salespeople must stay on top of the asking prices of their listings and guide sellers with honest feedback about repositioning their asking prices to attract buyers.

Salespeople who will not address the need to reposition the prices of their ‘stuck’ listings are unskilled and will not make it. Again, retrain or remove are a leader’s only two options.

Your team can look on dealing with price as an unpleasant duty that should be avoided, or they can look on the right price as a necessity for selling properties in a buyers’ market. Furthermore, they can look on telling sellers the truth about price as a service to their clients, a service that will help those clients achieve their goal to sell and move. A change in attitude can do wonders.

Dealing with price is a necessity and one of attitude. Leaders, beware of the shirkers and be sure that your salespeople are doing their job, that is to list and SELL properties at the highest market price.

Gary Pittard

The Fine Line

If you ask salespeople about areas where they think their leaders could improve, the two most common responses would be 1. Stop micromanaging me, and 2. Give me more support.

Support is an interesting one. Salespeople have difficulty defining what they mean by support. All they seem to know is that they want more of it.

Here are some points to consider:

  • Should a leader micromanage at all?
  • If so, when should the leader micromanage?
  • Should a leader take a more hands-off approach and trust the salesperson to do the right actions?
  • What support should a leader give?

During presentations of Pittard’s five-day Agency Profit System, a real estate agency management and business system, we break down the stages of Training & Coaching and discuss these very issues.

There is a place for micromanagement and a place for a more hands-off approach. The art is knowing which salespeople to micromanage, and which salespeople should have a more hands-off approach. It’s a fine line.


There are two types of salespeople who should be micromanaged:

  • Rookie salespeople
  • Salespeople in a slump.

Both need micromanagement until performance reaches what we call Professional Level – the point where they produce, or are back on track to produce, $300,000 in gross fees in one year.

Micromanagement takes the form of goal setting, planning, actions and results accountability, one-on-one coaching, and actions monitoring.

Leaders work with rookies and slumping salespeople and put them on the path to peak performance. If this is not done, rookies will fail, and slumping salespeople will remain mediocre.

This is a loss to the individual and to the agency.

Mentorship and Support

Once a rookie achieves Professional Level, or the slumping salesperson is back on track, micromanagement gives way to mentorship and support. This is when leadership becomes more hands-off, although the leader continues to give support and advice when required.

In these levels of Training & Coaching, the greatest gift a leader can give a salesperson is time.

The level of mentorship and support each salesperson requires will vary, but in all cases, you only discover when to mentor, and what support to give, by spending time with your people and asking this one question:

“How can I help you?”

It’s a great question, isn’t it?

The higher the level of performance a salespeople is, the less mentoring they may require, but the support they need might be greater because they are so busy. Give them time and how you can help will become clear.

You might offer an assistant, or perhaps the services of a listings prospector for a week, perhaps marketing in a specified area, or you might call some of the salesperson’s vendors. Although salespeople may not be able to define support, when you ask how you can help, you help them to clarify the support they need.

There may be a fine line between micromanagement and the hands-off approach, but if you keep in mind that rookies and slumping salespeople need micromanagement, and everyone else on the team require mentorship and support, the line is a little easier to see.

Remember that salespeople at all levels require your time. This is how you create loyalty in team members.

You cannot buy loyalty; you must earn it.

Gary Pittard

Too Busy To Lead

In my 30 years as a real estate agency management consultant, one of the biggest challenges I see agency leaders face is when the leader is too busy to lead. This can be the agency’s “Achilles Heel”, which stifles growth and profit, and much more.

This problem is particularly acute for leaders who list and sell, and who have few, or no, salespeople.

The combination of a busy leader and a small team can create for the leader a situation where the leader is working hard but has little free time. Although making money is good, if you do not have time to enjoy it, you’re on a treadmill and going nowhere.

Too busy to lead

If you have a business with staff, you have an obligation to lead your team.

This particularly applies to salespeople, who can easily become distracted, and because of the amount of rejection that goes with this role, discouraged.

Salespeople need leadership. The newer the salesperson, the more leadership and coaching he or she needs.

Fail to lead and, although you might be bringing in income, your salespeople may be underperforming. You work hard to pay the salaries of people who aren’t selling. Not a good position to find yourself in. It’s the costliest expense for an agency.

It’s quite common to see a high performing leader, perhaps one other high performing salesperson and then two or three salespeople who are not getting results.

Our industry has come to accept that that’s the way it is – one or two at the top, and then a big gap to the pack of mediocre performers at the bottom – but this is false.

Underperformers are that way because the leader tolerates underperformance.

Tolerate it long enough and it becomes normalised.

Every salesperson should be held accountable and required to perform actions that achieve results. There should be no ‘passengers’, no matter how long they have been with the company. Whether they are commission-only or salaried is irrelevant.

Too busy to coach

Leaders bring out the best in each salesperson through team training combined with one-on-one coaching. It is during these sessions that the leader bonds with each salesperson and guides the salesperson in setting goals, formulating plans, and committing to actions that produce results.

If this sounds time consuming, it is. But the rewards can be great. Instead of a leader and perhaps another high performer, imagine how much more profitable your business would be if your entire team performed at high levels.

The sure sign of a leader who is too busy to coach is a prevalence of underperforming salespeople.

Coach correctly and the reward is higher profit and more free time.

Too busy to train

Coaching and training are not the same. Training is all about education. Coaching is about implementation. But you cannot implement what you don’t know. This is why training is so important.

Leaders who are too busy to train their people doom their businesses to mediocrity. Often they are so busy that they never wake up to the fact that the cost of lost business far exceeds the cost of training and time out of the office.

Good training that is compatible with your company’s culture pays huge dividends. Never be too busy to train.

If you want some good training for your team, check out Adam Horth’s The Winners Circle Real Estate Podcast. New episodes are released on the second Thursday of every month. This outstanding training is free.

Too busy to recruit

At some point leaders lose team members, either through termination or resignation. Leaders who are too busy to recruit deplete their sales teams and lose business.

The lower the number of performing salespeople on a team, the lower the profit can be. Not always, however. If the leader lists and sells, the income from those sales can be highly profitable, and this is why so many leaders sell.

But are you a salesperson or a business owner? If you are a salesperson, who is leading and managing your business? And how do you take extended leave from the business if the business depends heavily on you?

Leaders need followers. Sales businesses need salespeople.

If you are too busy to recruit, expect to stay small and work hard selling to keep the doors open. Recruits are your future.

An old excuse

“I’m too busy” is one of the oldest business excuses there is. Salespeople use it all the time – “I’m too busy to prospect” is an old chestnut.

But are you busy working on the right activities? As a leader, your primary duties are to lead, train, coach, and recruit. Those tasks form the bulk of your job description.

Fail to perform the actions necessary for success in the role – for whatever reason, including being too busy – and you devalue your business.

Be busy by all means, but be busy on actions that will boost your profits, increase your free time, and give you a business that is a joy to own.

Gary Pittard

The True Cost of Growth

“Growth sucks cash”

Verne Harnish

Verne Harnish is an outstanding business writer. His book “Scaling Up: How a few companies make it and why the rest don’t” is a must-read for every business person.

Verne says that growth sucks cash. If a company is to grow, recruitment processes must be refined and they must work. And you must have a recruiting champion, somebody dedicated to bringing the right people into the team and helping them develop into winners.

In a real estate business, the recruitment champion is the leader. This is not a task that you can effectively delegate, and herein lies the problem:
Growth does suck cash, but it also sucks time – yours.

A leader who actively lists and sells is often the best salesperson in the company. Many have one or more assistants. They are busy people. Unfortunately, they’re often busy selling, and not growing their company. Most of the profit, they generate themselves.

This is not a business. It is a job.

Failing to recruit devalues the business. What do you have to sell if you are the top producer? You can’t sell yourself, so that leaves only the rent roll. Building a sales team makes the business more valuable.

These leaders often try to recruit people, but they are so busy chasing income that they spend little time inducting recruits, training them, helping them to become as productive as possible as quickly as possible.

Lack of time and attention in a salesperson’s first year is a major reason for the high turnover of salespeople in the real estate industry.

Why don’t more leaders grow their business? Too busy! That and the investment required.

Without recruitment systems, and induction and training systems, recruiting becomes hit-and-miss. This is recruitment in many typical agencies.

In the absence of proven recruiting systems, leaders resort to poaching competitors’ salespeople, which is the worst of all recruiting methods.

I urge all real estate leaders to decide on the future of their business. Do you want to be the best salesperson in your company, or do you want a team of winners who make sales for you, who are happy, productive, and profitable? Your Dream Team.

If you think this is a pipe dream, contact me and I’ll introduce you to many leaders who make a million dollars profit and who don’t list and sell. These people are leaders. They have recruited their team and now have a real business.

You can have a team like this too, but there is a price to pay – in time and money.

Gary Pittard

Look For Drive

The Victorian government recently introduced legislation that requires people who want to take a sales position at a real estate agency to first complete a course of 18 units.

In NSW, salespeople can complete a short course and begin working as a salesperson under close supervision but must complete a Certificate IV within four years.

Talk about making it difficult to employ people!

There is no evidence to suggest that this produces a better salesperson. Many of the salespeople and principals who were fined for breaking the law had a full license.

Recruiting is difficult at any time, made harder by these laws. But that is what we must deal with, and our first duty is to obey the law.

When talking to some Victorian, NSW, SA, and NZ leaders, I suggested that we must not only determine whether a potential recruit person has the aptitude and communication skills for a sales position – their ‘Can Do’ score – but we also must look for signs of DRIVE.

Candidates must demonstrate drive. To be legally allowed to work as a salesperson, candidates must study and pass the relevant exams. In NSW, they must do so while they work as a salesperson. That takes time, dedication, and drive.

But that only makes them LEGAL.

LEGAL and COMPETENT are not the same!

None of the legislated courses teach salespeople the skills property sellers need – Marketing, Negotiation, Closing, Question Technique, and Professional Selling Skills.

I suggest that a salesperson’s lack of these skills causes more complaints than a lack of statutory qualifications.

To help salespeople develop professional selling skills, these must be taught in-house. If salespeople are also studying courses to gain their licences, they’re going to be very busy. They must study to be legal AND to be competent.

This illustrates the importance of drive. If your candidates aren’t driven to succeed, they won’t.

There is no point complaining about how hard recruiting is, and how much harder governments have made it. There is nothing you can do about it, so why waste energy complaining about things over which you have no control?

I’ve seen leaders who are so caught up with how hard it is to recruit the right people, that they keep mediocre people – instead of seeking people who are driven to succeed and teaching them how to sell professionally and ethically, while they continue studying for their licences. This is business suicide.

Drive is an intrinsic motivation. So is work ethic. If your candidate has drive, you’re a lot closer to developing your next winner.

Look for drive. Don’t recruit anybody who doesn’t have this quality.

Gary Pittard

Hope for The Best … but Plan for the Worst

Happy New Year! I hope you’ve had some time with your family after a satisfying and profitable 2021, despite the challenges we faced.

Hope is a positive emotion. The dictionary definition is A feeling of expectation and desire.” It’s good to have hope.

It’s perfectly fine to hope that the market will continue to boom in 2022, even to hope that the boom will never end.

But hope is no way to run a business. Smart leaders hope for the best, but plan for the worst.

I’m no economist, but a warning sign is when forecasters talk about no end in sight to the booming market. And when agents act as though the boom will never end it should be a signal for caution.

Markets rise; markets fall. It’s the nature of markets. Booms and busts always end. If we knew when the peaks and troughs were going to occur, we’d be billionaires.

But though we cannot predict the market, this does not mean that your business is at the market’s mercy. Good businesses make good profits in any market. I hope you are one of those businesses.

Here are some of the areas where you can, and should, take control:


In boom markets, the challenge is to find stock. Marketing channels, including prospecting, require planning and execution. It is the leader’s job to ensure that everything is being done to find listings.

When the market changes, the challenge becomes pricing stock so that it can sell. This is an entirely different skill set for salespeople. The leader can train the team in this area.

Team Size

The more sales you want to make, the larger your team must be. Recruitment is within a leader’s area of control, and should be within a leader’s area of expertise.

It if isn’t, you need recruitment systems and training in that area. Pittard can help you.

Team Quality

Good quality leads are wasted when incompetent salespeople attend appointments. Leaders must ensure that regular training is available to the team and that attendance is compulsory. Again, Pittard can help you.

Team Results

Leaders can accurately predict the profit that comes from their rental department, but in many agencies, the sales department results fluctuate wildly.

This should not be so. With systems, you can build a profitable sales department with predictable results – regardless of market conditions. And yes, Pittard can help here too.

These are just four areas where a leader can plan improvement in their sales department. By focusing on these areas, the agency becomes less susceptible to market fluctuations. The business is prepared for any contingency.

We hope the boom lasts. We wish it would never end. But knowing that it will end, let’s plan for continued prosperity, in any market.

Hope for the best, but always plan for the worst.

Gary Pittard

What Are You Reading?

Leadership would be so much simpler if it didn’t involve people, wouldn’t it?

People, however, are the reason leadership is necessary. As business owners, it is a skill we should treat seriously because it’s essential.

You can study leadership, or you can learn the hard way through experience, by trial and error, which is not the best way to learn.

I saw this quote in an aviation magazine: Experience is life’s best teacher as long as you have the brains to get it second hand“.

The author was alluding to the fact that some experiences in aviation are fatal, so it is wiser to learn from the experience of others, from actual fatalities or near misses, instead of replicating those experiences for yourself.

So while lessons can be learnt through trial and error, those errors can be costly in team morale, your reputation, and loss of good people.

The good news is that leadership can be learned. That is, if you study it.

Do you study leadership? What leadership book are you reading now?

As you enjoy a little downtime over the Christmas period, if you do not regard yourself as much of a reader, give some thought to reading just one good book on leadership over the break.

I guarantee that if you apply the lessons, your leadership will improve, and so will your relationship with your team, their results, and eventually your profit.

I am not implying that you are not a good leader. But we can all improve, and if you have not read many leadership books lately, or ever, there is a wealth of knowledge available to make you better.

After all, we expect our people to improve, don’t we? Lead the way!

Here are some leadership books I recommend for holiday reading:

  • The Leadership Challenge – Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner
  • Encouraging the Heart – Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner
  • Coaching Salespeople Into Sales Champions – Keith Rosen
  • Up Your Business – Dave Anderson
  • Legacy – James Kerr
  • Hundred Percenters – Mark Murphy

These are just a few to get you started. There are thousands of good leadership books. Do you have a favourite? Please let me know.

Thank you for taking time to read my articles this past year. Wishing you and your family all the best for Christmas and a happy new year.

Gary Pittard

Confront Bad Behaviour

Bad behaviour, when allowed to flourish, can destroy a good business.

Like talking detrimentally about clients, treating colleagues with disrespect, or bullying new salespeople. No doubt you’ve seen your share of bad behaviour over the years. Such behaviour must be stepped on quickly.

Some leaders say, “I’m too soft“. Leaders who say that they are ‘soft’ shouldn’t be in leadership positions. Soft people do not make good leaders.

By this I don’t mean softly spoken, I mean weak, scared of confrontation, afraid to fire people, and afraid to have the difficult conversations that form part of a leader’s job description.

Soft leaders create the perfect environment for selfish salespeople to run roughshod over the team, paving the way for those salespeople to turn into ‘600 kg gorillas’.

These are the salespeople who claim all the leads as their own, who say to new salespeople who prospect, ‘That’s my client!‘, even though they may not have spoken to the client in years.

When is the best time to confront bad behaviour?

As soon as you detect it.

Fail to do so and you may soon find that your good people leave, leaving you with people who have a poor culture, who give poor client service, and who tarnish your agency’s reputation.

You do your people no favours when you tolerate bad behaviour. Care enough to confront bad behaviour as soon as you detect it.

Leaders themselves are not always paragons of good behaviour either. Sometimes we behave badly. What do you do then?

If we detect that we have behaved in a manner that sets a bad example, own up to it. Tell your team that you did the wrong thing and apologise. Even though you might have not set a good example with your original behaviour, detecting it and calling yourself out will earn the respect of your team.

You will repair any damage that may have been done to your Culture.

Bad behaviour must never be tolerated. It’s like the tip of the iceberg – you don’t see most of it. If you detect bad behaviour, you can bet that there is more bad behaviour you haven’t seen.

Have you ever had a salesperson leave, and then the stories come out? You get told of how the salesperson used to speak about you behind your back, or how negative he or she was. Sometimes we hear that the salesperson indulged in behaviour bordering on sexual harassment.

Bad behaviour must never be tolerated in your company. Deal with it in a private conversation and, if it happens again, be prepared to terminate the person.

No ‘three-strikes-you’re-out’ when it comes to bad behaviour. Two strikes are all you can afford, or your company will suffer.

Gary Pittard

Time, Attention and Care

I recently read an industry article about remuneration for salespeople, discussing which was best: salaries or commission-only.

While I do not intend to argue that point now, a comment from an industry leader caused me concern.

This leader said that commission-only percentages varied widely, but the common rule of thumb was that the higher the commission, the less support the salesperson received from the agency.

Why is this such a concern?

For any leader to suggest that not supporting any team member is a good idea, this is a clear indication that this leader has not studied leadership and doesn’t understand the importance it plays in results and profit.

If the highest calling of leadership is to bring out the best in our people, how can not supporting any salesperson in our company be classed as good leadership?

Whether we support our people should have nothing to do with their level of remuneration. If they are on our team, they should receive our time, attention and care.

These are the greatest gifts leaders can give their people.

Over the years, I have heard many leaders complain that salespeople are disloyal. This applies especially to those remunerated by commission-only. But are salespeople really disloyal?

Some are, but I wager that most are not.

The real problem could be that leaders have not EARNT LOYALTY. If the leader didn’t support the salesperson, giving that salesperson time, attention and care, can you blame the salesperson for going elsewhere? After all, they owe the leader nothing.

The title of Leader is not sufficient to earn loyalty and respect. We must earn these.

We earn loyalty and respect by giving time, paying attention to our people (especially by listening to them), and showing respect and care.

I believe that bringing out the best in our people is the highest calling of leadership. If they are on your team, that is your leadership mission.

Giving time, attention and care will take you a long way toward “Mission Accomplished”.

Gary Pittard

How Much Is Your Sales Department Worth?

I am not telling you anything you don’t know when I say that rent rolls sell for big money. But what about your sales department – how much is it worth?

Many, if not most, real estate agency owners place little value on their sales department. They believe their sales department isn’t as valuable as their rent roll.

There are two reasons for this:

  1. The sales department’s income and profit fluctuate and are often market dependent.When the market is good, the sales department makes money. Then the market changes to a buyers’ market, the sales department struggles to make a profit.

    If you doubt that, think about the real estate groups listed on the stock exchange. When the market was down, so were the share prices of those listed groups. “Profit downgrade” was the term used. At the time of writing, we’re in a sellers’ market and the share prices of those groups are up.

    Rental departments seldom experience such market dependent fluctuations.

  2. The sales department’s income and profit are dependent on the principal’s sales production.You cannot sell yourself. If you are the primary producer of income in your sales department, the value of your sales department is significantly devalued. When you leave, so will the income you produced.

    And if your plan is to sell but stay with the new owner and work as a salesperson, seldom does that succeed.

Most real estate business owners have given up on building a winning team. We constantly hear the excuse – and it is an excuse – “You can’t find good people“. That belief alone is sufficient to stop you from filling your team with competent people. They are profit killing words!

At least ten real estate businesses using Pittard systems make profits in excess of $1 million, WITHOUT the principal having to list and sell. How much do you think those sales departments are worth?

There will be people who say, “That’s because the market is booming“. To those people I say, “Are you making a million-dollar profit without needing to list and sell? Isn’t your market booming too?

Winners, whether leaders or salespeople, are often regarded as freaks by those who aren’t winning. It’s far easier to call somebody’s performance freakish than it is to look at what those leaders and salespeople did to succeed and then do the same.

But that does not mean that it can’t be done; it simply means that those people don’t want to do it.

With the right people, training, and leadership, your sales department can make large profits without your production being required to pay the bills.

You will need recruiting, induction and training systems, and you may need to work on your leadership skill, but it can be done.

If you are up to the challenge, if you want to build a PROFITABLE AND SALEABLE SALES DEPARTMENT, give me a call on +61 2 8217 8500.

Gary Pittard

The Right Help

With so many offices making record profits, everybody is busy. But for leaders, you can be busy making sales, or you can be busy running a business. What type of busy are you?

Leaders who spend much of their working week listing and selling can, if they are not careful, fall into the trap of being too busy to recruit effectively. Recruiting effectively doesn’t just mean finding help, it means finding the RIGHT HELP and coaching them.

Selling leaders often don’t monitor their teams unless something goes wrong, and they don’t monitor the progress of individual team members either, unless the salesperson is in a slump.

This scenario is common in many real estate offices: when you examine the breakdown of sales production in teams led by selling leaders, you find that the leader is close to being the number one salesperson in the company, perhaps with one, and sometimes two, other solid performers. There is a gap between the higher performers and a pack of salespeople who aren’t doing well.

Stopgap becomes these leaders’ recruiting program of choice – a team member leaves and the leader, who is too busy to recruit properly, plugs the gap with somebody who, had the leader been more thorough with recruiting, probably would not have employed that person.

It is common for selling leaders to say, “I need an assistant“, and probably the leader does. But does the leader need a good assistant or just somebody to fill the gap? Does the leader need help from just anyone, or does the leader need the right help?

Recruiting should be targeted to address a need, not a stopgap measure to fill perceived deficiencies in the team. You can waste a lot in wages and time this way.

What do you really need? An assistant, or more salespeople? An assistant will enable you to work with more clients, but are you a business owner, or a salesperson in your company?

You might do better with more salespeople, but it takes systems, dedication, and focused work, to recruit, train and induct salespeople the right way, so that the ‘help’ you employ is the ‘right help’.
Many leaders put thorough recruiting into the too hard basket. They lower their standards in a desperate attempt to find anyone to help with the workload.

It’s a paradox: in the short term, recruiting properly adds to the leaders’ workload. Inducting recruits properly does also. But the long-term benefits of recruiting and inducting properly are people on the team who know what to do, who know how to get results and create happy clients.

In the long term, having the right people on the team requires less of the leader’s effort to lead, train and coach. The right people stay longer and enhance the agency’s culture. The right people are a pleasure to lead and very profitable.

Yes, I know you are busy. But before you appoint another person to your team, ask yourself, “Do I want help, or the right help?

There is a big difference, and that difference has a huge impact on your profit.

Gary Pittard

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

Want to reach your profit potential? Contact us now.


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