I recently spoke with a friend and client regarding a specific turnover issue: Sales Managers who have given up on the bottom twenty percent of their sales team, and have stopped trying to salvage that person’s employment.

This is especially true for managers with no involvement in the hiring decision.

Those managers often develop a “lost cause” mindset since they claim no accountability for the development and success of that employee, and instead blame others.

The dealer himself took on the challenge of providing them his time and efforts before throwing the towel in. His strategy for those bottom twenty percent: before they were simply cut loose, the dealer instructed management to “Let me have them first.”

His mission was to invest more training time and to breathe spirit into those team members, to get them better connected with the opportunities and the rewards of becoming successful in the automotive business.

Several of those with whom he personally worked with became some of his dealership’s top producers. Once they recognized that someone believed in them, and was willing to invest time and effort into their career, they became receptive to changing their attitude. They were more willing to put forth true effort on a daily basis, thereby having a positive influence with their customers, and creating more positive results. This magnified their confidence and their desire to be recognized as a major contributor to a bigger cause. Pride can be a very good thing.

When a manager shuts down on someone, that person can see it and feel it; they know they are on a no-win path, and their head is no longer in the game. It is easier to let someone go, and believe it’s not your fault. Yet as a manager, you have changed nothing by taking no corrective action.

Years ago, my dealer shared a strategy with me that made a lot of sense. He stated,

“Before you let another team member go, look at yourself in the mirror, and be able to say that you have done everything possible, have given the person the best opportunity to succeed.

If you can say this, then do your store and the employee a favor, and let them move on to something more suitable. If you can’t say this, then you probably owe them and the store some more effort for the cause.”

If a store has good initial training, offers ongoing development, and communicates goals and performance tracking results with team members, the sales team will feel more inspired and optimistic about their potential. They will also feel indebted to the degree they take more responsibility in the mission to succeed.

Be the leader that changes the score, not just one who keeps it.

You have an opportunity to help develop the potential of others, to invest in them, and to take them to places they didn’t believe they could go.

This is one of the most valuable legacies that a manager can have.

For more leadership tips, contact us for details. Get your bottom 20% up-to-speed with the newly launched 90-Day Boot Camp for sales and service teams. It’s the training they need, uniquely delivered, with accountability built-in!

Visit our website for more information, or call 888-300-4629.

Richard Keeney 
The Mar-Kee Group
251-680-6633 (cell)