Whenever I do sales and telemarketing coaching, one of the first questions I ask is who is your top seller, what is he or she earning, and who is in second place?
Invariably, there is one lead dog, and the rest of the pack lags far behind her.
To me, this is a dangerous situation.
What happens if she leaves, is stricken by illness, or is otherwise incapacitated? Your sales will plummet, overall, and you won't have a strong apprentice who can do her headlining act, so to speak.
More significant, are these problems, when there is only one sales leader:
(1) That person defines what great performance is, and that may not be the very pinnacle of potential achievement.
(2) It's lonely at the top. All leaders need competition so they'll be forced to get better.
(3) You send an unconscious message of dependency to the leader. "I don't know how to produce another YOU," is what it says. This can go to her head, and if she's immature she might use this as leverage against you or become a behavior problem.
(4) Your confidence won't be high, because you'll feel overly dependent on her production.
So, the first thing we try to do is to recruit, train, and motivate someone who will give the existing leader a real challenge for the leadership spot.
This will show other sales reps that higher performance is possible; they can challenge the top dog with impunity; and they can, and perhaps will be replaced unless they get moving in the right direction, and fast.
You can give motivational sales talks until you're breathless, and it won't make the point nearly as dramatically or convincingly as bringing in a strong number two.
So, go to it!
Dr. Gary S. Goodman, President of Customersatisfaction.com, is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Reach Out & Sell Someone® and Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service, and the audio program, "The Law of Large Numbers: How To Make Success Inevitable," published by Nightingale-Conant. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, worldwide. A Ph.D. from USC's Annenberg School, a Loyola lawyer, and an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, Gary offers programs through UCLA Extension and numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. He holds the rank of Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. He is headquartered in Glendale, California, and he can be reached at (818) 243-7338 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org.