Sack Your Dilberts
Attitude: we all know how important it is, but how often do we allow a person with a lousy attitude to get away with negativity or laziness without calling them on it?
Geoff Burch, in his excellent book, Writing On The Wall, said:
I have noticed recently that a few business books have used Dilbert cartoons to give a wry insight into management, but despite them being very funny I hate the Dilberts of this world. Dilbert is lazy, disloyal and seditious. Tip number one – Sack your Dilberts. The first battle, then, is for the attitude of the entire team.
Attitude is the most important word in the dictionary. Attitude permeates everything a salesperson does.
Training is a classic example. How often do alleged ‘top producers’ refuse to attend training, citing their ‘results’ as a reason? This attitude is poison to the entire team.
I say ‘alleged top producers’ because quite often these people are mediocrity masquerading as superiority. Dilberts.
In our five-day Real Estate Management Program, we show leaders how to value their salespeople. It is eye-opening.
When you scrutinise the business that the salesperson personally sourced – that is, business that did not phone in, walk in, or email in – you often find that most of the business these people write is business the company would have got anyway. Much of that business could have been written by another salesperson with a good attitude.
So when such salespeople say they do not want to attend training, they are effectively saying that they know it all. Again, this is a shocking attitude when compared to real winners’ attitudes.
A true winner never whines about going to training. Winners know that good training leads to a higher income. They know that the more they earn, the more they learn. They know that even if they hear ideas they have heard before, this is irrelevant. A winner asks, “When did I last USE that idea?”
The well-trained salesperson does not attend training with a view of learning new ideas. Much of their training will be timely reminders of the things they need to be doing. These reminders are as valuable as any new idea. Winners know that. Dilberts don’t.
Action is also an attitude. How many salespeople know about the importance of goal setting but don’t do anything about it? Show me an unfocused salesperson, who chronically falls short of targets, and I’ll show you one without goals.
Prospecting is another area where Dilberts are exposed. One of the primary responsibilities of a salesperson is to generate new business. A salesperson who does not speak to forty potential sellers each working day is not working hard enough. But how many do this? Dilberts don’t prospect.
In the absence of prospecting, do you know what they do? They whinge about the market, how little marketing the company does, how their leader doesn’t support them. Seditious Dilberts.
Keep Them Busy
When our children were toddlers, my wife said, “If we don’t want these kids growing up the wrong way, we have to keep them busy“. And that is what we did: swimming before school, ballet or rugby practice after school, plus homework and many other activities. Our kids were too knackered to get into trouble.
Salespeople are the same. As leaders we need to keep them busy – focused on activities that lead to results. They will quickly become negative and full of self-doubt if we don’t. I am not saying you have to motivate them – it’s their job to motivate themselves – but you have to inspire them, nag them if necessary, to do the work that brings results. Everything else is PTBB – Pretending To Be Busy.
You need people with ambition, a will to win, a willingness to work hard, and great attitudes. You can take these people along with you to Greatness.
None of those attributes will you find in Dilberts. Save yourself the bother and don’t even try. Your best efforts won’t work on Dilberts. Get them out of your office so they are no longer a negative influence on the team members with good attitudes.
Build a team of real winners. Life will be so much better for everyone.