Sunday, August 23, 2009

You have to be cruel to be kind

Have you ever noticed that it’s the poor sales reps that cause you so many headaches?

13 of my favourite excuses from poor performing sales reps

Poor reps develop a pretty good list for why they are not hitting their numbers.

See if you recognise any of these:

1. Personal or family health issues
2. Our price is too high
3. The market has changed
4. The GFC has kicked in and people are holding off their purchasing decisions
5. Those customers are going through a restructure at the moment
6. It’s hard to get appointments at the moment, everyone’s too busy
7. The leads I’m getting from telesales / telemarketing are rubbish
8. The decision maker is not available every time I call
9. I’m waiting on marketing to provide me with more materials
10. I’m still waiting to hear back from them
11. I don’t want to hassle them
12. They are happy with who they currently use
13. This is a poor territory that hasn’t been properly looked after for a long, long time

4 groups you should spend more time with

I think the hardest decision you make as a sales manager each day is how to allocate your time.

Your NRG vampires will drain you. Spend a lot less time with them.


Remember the song by Nick Lowe – Cruel to be kind.


It may be cruel, but really aren’t you just being kind, if you ignore them.

You are helping them to accelerate their career development. Ideally working for your best competitor.


Hang them out to dry. If they really want to be successful they’ll lift.

If you spend too much time with them you’ll run out of NRG pretty quickly.

I suggest spend more time with these groups:


1. Your best performers – Convert them from Good to Great

2. Reps who have the right attitude, a willingness to learn, but may be lacking in the skills

3. Potential reps for your team – Go and have a coffee with someone you’d like to have joining your team

4. Your customers – ideally whilst you are out on the road, coaching your best reps and your emerging stars


So before you leave today, organise to double your coaching with your best 3 performers and half your coaching with your duds over the next month.

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