BOOM! Enough is ENOUGH!
Why do we keep employees around who hurt our business, break the spirits of the team, ignore the rules, are blatantly disrespectful, or are just simply lazy? WHY? Is it fear of the unknown? The devil you know vs the devil you don’t? Blind-eye syndrome? Do we really think it is that difficult to find a 12 car-a-month salesperson? Whatever the reason is, it needs to stop!
Turning a Blind Eye
Don’t ignore your molehills until they become mountains. Do not strictly look at the bottom line of opportunities sold, but, instead, identify the opportunities missed. Look at the number of sales the individual is losing rather than the sales they are making. Are your consistent performers really that great? What about Negative Bob, the “top guy”, who complains, doesn’t enter customers in the CRM correctly, and brings down the team’s morale, but sells 25 cars a month? What if Bob flies through 300 opportunities at a miserable 8% close?
Ignoring the problem hurts you more than you know. These people are generally hard to work with and are doing more than just losing their opportunities. They take up manager’s time, make it difficult for team members to stay motivated, create problems, and, most importantly, provide poor customer experiences. They are human explosives that decimate morale and focus on the showroom floor.
You are only as strong as your weakest link! I know, I know … you’ve heard it all before! But for whatever reason you are still reading so I’m going to assume you have this problem in your showroom and haven’t acted on it because of fear, comfort or some other factor.
Do Not Fear the Unknown
Use the assets available to you to diagnose these issues. Do you have Managers consistently tracking the performance of your salespeople? Do you have vendors who evaluate phone calls, email response, or CRM usage? Let the facts speak for themselves.
Evaluate your team fairly by constantly reviewing phone, email, internet, and CRM activity. Once you find a problem, address it by providing them the data. Nothing makes your case stronger than verifiable evidence. At which point, it is your employee’s duty to address your concerns.
You are doing yourself an injustice by keeping underperforming individuals around to take precious opportunities away from performing salespeople. Lazy Suzy, who doesn’t enter customers into the CRM or complete tasks, is wasting your opportunities and cherry-picking the customers worth following-up with. Even if she is selling 15-20 units, she is throwing away your advertising dollars and losing a sale by deciding that the customer wasn’t worth her time.
The Devil You Know vs. The Devil You Don’t
Use the information you have collected to make the decisions for you! Comfort in the consistent 20-car-a-month sales guy and fear of the alternative is generally the biggest reason we hang on to C4 employees. But how many people is Bipolar Brian turning away? How many quality salespeople is he having a hand in pushing out the door? Worse still… Is he ruining your reputation and cherry picking to get to that 20? How’s that devil now?
By hiring a Responsible Ryan or 2 eager new salespeople and actually training them well, you could easily be closing at a higher rate resulting in more sales. That 20 car guy could easily be hiding 10-15 sales that you are missing.
If you hire new salespeople to replace the negative, non-company guy, make sure to screen those candidates under the specific qualities you are trying to find. We often jump to fill in a spot, instead of finding the right person for the position and our company. Set guidelines going forward of the type of person you want to be on the sales floor. Use Brian as the “what not to do” and identify for your sales staff, what is a right and wrong way to handle a customer and what the expectations are (in closing percentages, CRM utilization, as well as sales).
Cut the Wire Already!
Evaluate, Replace and move on. To be fearful is to give that individual control over your department. You would be surprised by the response from even removing one cancerous individual. Your team will be more productive, motivated, and effective. That employee is not worth the headache, lost opportunities, or bad online reputation.
In the end, if you have an employee that is as sensitive as plastic explosives walking around the showroom, disrupting others with their jaded attitude or their refusal to follow company procedure, it is time to cut the red wire and get them out of there. It is better to replace a ticking time bomb of an employee with a new hire that could turn out to be dynamite (in a good way).
Tick… Tick… Tick…Tick… BOOM!