Worth Keeping, Worth Coaching
“Weekly coaching sessions enable you to identify and eliminate problems that can compound over the year and cost the company money, new business, and countless hours in attempting to salvage an employee. And if you’re losing salespeople as a result of coaching negligence, it will cost your company even more time and money to hire and train new salespeople“.
by Keith Rosen
You may remember the time when (low) salaries for unlicensed salespeople were introduced into Queensland and Western Australia. I do. In both states the average team size dropped by 30 percent, and very quickly.It appears that when forced to pay salaries to their underperforming salespeople, a large number of agency owners decided that one-third of their teams were not worth keeping, if that meant paying them. Stupidly, these leaders used mandatory salaries as the motivation for dismissing underperformers.
What about competence? How many listings, sales and selling fees were lost to the agencies that held onto these poor performers for so long? It would run into millions of dollars in fees lost to their competitors.
Lost Listings and Sales
The salary was money going OUT of the company. But the biggest loss to those leaders was never going to be salaries, it was the massive amount of money that never came IN because one-third of their teams were incompetent.
It is true that the salary is a more obvious loss, but there is no bigger drain on a company’s profit than business lost to the opposition.
Nobody can argue that our industry has a high attrition rate of salespeople. They come and they go. An awful lot go. But were they all incompetent?
When they commenced working in their agencies, it is fair to say that most were. That is not a major problem.
The real problem was that their leaders ALLOWED THEM TO STAY INCOMPETENT.
This is caused by, as Keith Rosen calls it, Coaching Negligence. As leaders, we must have a strict coaching regimen in our companies. Nobody can be exempt from training and coaching. If your people are worth keeping, they are worth training and coaching.
Keith Rosen spells out the two options nicely. Either coach your people, or spend a lot of time and money hiring.
Many leaders, however, opt for a third option: do neither.
These leaders are recognisable by small teams, where the number one salesperson in the office is often the leader, and where the leader regularly says, “If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself“.
These leaders think they have a business, but think about it: if you are the main breadwinner in your agency, what is there to sell? Only the Rent Roll; the sales department is worthless.
If you want to make your sales department saleable, and if you want to make a healthy number of sales each month (not made by you), you need a winning team. If you want a winning team, you must HIRE AND COACH. There is no point hiring without training and coaching.
Take your people to seminars. Don’t send them: take them. After each seminar, ask, “What did you learn?” and “What actions do you intend to take?” Set standards, coach your team so that they rise to those standards. Run in-house training meetings every week and encourage team participation.
You are a team of professionals. Professionals train. Leaders coach. Team members that do not want to be part of this culture have no place on the team.
Keep the right people, hire new ones, but coach them all.