On a trip to Singapore, I met an agency leader who told me about the state of his business. He said that he had 1,000 salespeople (not a misprint!) who turned over $30 million with a 1 percent profit.
I said, “Let me get this straight: you turned over $30 million last year and made $300,000 profit – is that right?” He answered, “If that.”
So I visited some of the open inspections to gauge for myself the quality of these salespeople. What I witnessed were order takers who followed me around with business cards – I could discern no selling ability.
The Singapore market is a classic case of throwing people at a problem that actually requires skill. A phenomenal few – twelve – skilled salespeople, working in shifts, could outperform the 1,000 people currently delivering only $300,000 profit to this company.
Scale things down a bit and you can see similarities between Singapore, and New Zealand and Australia.
In New Zealand, teams of 60 or more are still quite common. I once worked with an office that had two salespeople while its major competitor had sixty. The two salespeople were listing and selling as many properties as their competitors, despite the competitor having 58 more salespeople.
In Australia, team sizes are not as large, although occasionally you do come across