To maximise profit, two of the leader’s most important roles are Talent Scout and Coach.
In my 25 years as a real estate agency profit consultant, one of the greatest ‘sins’ I’ve seen leaders commit is holding onto the wrong people for too long – often despite their better judgment.
When an underperforming team member leaves, or is eventually fired, I’ve lost count of how many times the leader has said, “I should have done this long ago”.
An Arabian proverb says, “When the horse you are riding dies, get off!” If you believe you have the wrong person on your team, you should heed this advice.
The easiest way to detect whether a poor performing salesperson has any hope of reversing this trend is to ignore their words and look at their actions.
- Give them a book and ask them to read it, or ask them to listen to an audio program. If they don’t, that is enough reason to terminate their services. They are unteachable.
- Ask them to commit to a high level of prospecting – 40 a day for a month. If they refuse, or if they say they’ll do it, but don’t, that’s enough reason to terminate their services. They are afraid to prospect.
Some people are not teachable. Some will not do the actions required by their job descriptions. Keeping these people on your team will lose you the respect of the good people. If you can’t turn these people around, it’s time to put your energy into finding the right people. It’s time to put on your ‘Talent Scout’ hat.
One reason leaders persist with wrong people is because they don’t have anybody to replace them. That’s why good leaders are constantly looking for winners, the right people to join the team.
Once they find good people, they induct them into the company the right way, with induction systems designed to train the person and get him or her productive almost immediately. Culture and action are taught, and standards set. Ongoing monitoring is implemented. All team members know that they are accountable for the actions they are expected to complete.
The leader then moves into the role of coach, working with the team to bring out the best in each person.
These leaders always remain on the lookout for prospective winners. In the best offices, there is always room for a winner but there is no room for a mediocre person with a poor attitude.
I am not suggesting ‘Churn and Burn’, which some ruthless leaders are known for. I do suggest, however, that you quickly part company with people who will not meet your standards of culture, training, presentation and activity, and find salespeople who will.
Many leaders do not have hiring problems; they have firing problems. And because of this, their teams contain people who have little hope of success.
Be a talent scout and coach. Then tell me if your profits don’t soar!