Saturday, July 12, 2008

Sales Managers When Should You Fire Your Best Salesperson

Writen by Dr. Gary S. Goodman

There are just some topics that you shouldn't bring up in polite company.

I could name them, but I'd be out of line.

Yet I can't resist speaking about this one topic of special relevance to sales managers everywhere.

When should you fire your BEST salesperson?

This is a question that comes up more than you might think, though it is as taboo to openly ask as "When is the boss going to croak?"

Salespeople, especially top producers, are the sacred (cash) cows of organizations, large and small. They're revered, spoken of with respect, pampered with perks like quarterly and annual meetings in exotic and exciting locales.

NOBODY wants to get in their way; nobody who is rational, right?

After all, aren't they doing the heavy lifting for everyone else?

But sometimes, as that expression says, "You can't live with them, and you can't shoot them."

So, when does this happen?

You just have to consider firing your best sellers when:

(1) They challenge your authority and they undercut your ability to motivate and manage the rest of the team.

(2) They flaunt the rules, encouraging their weak-minded and less talented peers to follow-along.

(3) They say, "Stick-em-up!" They insist on receiving sweeter commissions and hidden perks that will make management seem to others to be biased and double-dealing.

(4) They're boasting to others about how they're going to join the competition or set-up shop for themselves.

(5) They operate unethically, paying-off customers for doing business with them.

I faced this challenge when I was a fresh sales manager for a large publishing company. Recently promoted, I wanted to prove myself by boosting sales, but I was stymied every step of the way by an envious also-ran who had lost out to me for the promotion.

I made the move, sales dipped temporarily, but then I built them to unprecedented levels.

The "best" seller, as it turns out, was preventing his peers from reaching for more, outdoing their personal bests.

There are some things that just have to be said, and one of them is "Happy Trails!" to someone who ushers in both the best of times, and the worst.

Best-selling author of 12 books and more than 800 articles, Dr. Gary S. Goodman is considered a foremost expert in telephone effectiveness, customer service, and sales development. A top-rated speaker, seminar leader, and consultant, his clients extend across the organizational spectrum, from the Fortune 1000 to small businesses. He can be reached at:

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