Thursday, September 29th, 2022

“My gut told me something was wrong and then it happened…my top sales person left!!”


John had been with me five years.  He had been a top producer for four of these years.  He learned quickly and showed promise right away in his first week.  The market is difficult now- John won’t earn as much as he did last year, but he still is within 10% of last year.  He is great. I never have to spend time with him because he is always on task.  I sure wish the other five sales people did not take so much time.  They always have questions even when I show them how to do their job.

There are several possible issues here.  One possible issue is the fact that you do not know how to differentiate between someone who has the capacity to produce and someone who does not.  We know that top producers need to respect their managers for their knowledge of leadership and professional management.  If you are not able to produce peers for your top sales person he will not be happy in your environment. It is your job as sales manager or owner to provide an atmosphere where positive motivation can take place.  The ability to recruit, select, develop, maximize retain talent is needed set of skills in any organization- especially now with the shortage of talent for the next few years.  Top talent will not remain with a group of non-producers.

John left for a position that would offer more money than he was receiving for the same production in his previous organization- that’s what he told his owner.  Of course this was a done deal and the owner could not afford to make a counter offer because he did not have depth of talent.  So he felt hurt and betrayed – as loyalty is a big deal to owner/managers.

There is more to learn here beyond the obvious we just discussed.  Your key highly productive employees seem to be OK because they are meeting there sales goals.  So they do not need attention.  Well, guess again- it is imperative to treat your top performers as you would your most valuable client.  We often forget this- our time is spent with the new hire or unproductive hire.  The top producer is wondering “what about me- I am not appreciated”- there is something wrong here.  And while this top producer is experiencing this mild discontentment, he is vulnerable to be recruited by someone who would appreciate them- understand them and care about their goals and helping meet them through their business opportunity.  The win-win environment is offered by companies with professional leadership.

The reason a top producing person leaves your organization is not for the money in most cases that is only the excuse given.  They leave because of poor leadership and the environment which poor leadership creates and the perception that their personal goals can not be met in your organization.

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