Would YOU FIRE your TOP PRODUCING REP?

Have you ever been held hostage by a sales rep? Or a co-worker that makes it unbearable at work?

This week one of our clients did a VERY courageous thing. They FIRED their best performing representative.

So when I say best performing rep – I mean BEST PERFORMING rep. – Bringing in millions of dollars in referrals a year.

This rep thought he was “Untouchable” because he was bringing in so many “good” referrals.

However, he didn’t treat the staff professionally. He was arrogant and unkind to other co-workers and his manager. Staff quit because of him.

Often owners or managers will tolerate behavior that is unacceptable because a representative is “producing” and fear losing business.

 

Cheryl and I have a rule:

“No Jerks” on our teams

 

We build sales reps every day. We will not tolerate an arrogant, non-team player.

When this owner shared his story of a high producing rep that was not a good culture fit, the rep had been given many chances to modify his behavior. His manager reminded him that the office staff, nurses, and therapists are his INTERNAL CUSTOMERS. However, he continued to treat them poorly.

It was time.  He had to go.

 

 “Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.” ―John Wayne

 

Of course, this owner was concerned. He couldn’t afford to lose all these referrals – How would he recover?

He was being held, hostage!

But he has a heck of a sales manager – She is AMAZING! I knew that, with her leadership, the support of a sales process, and the RoadMap to Referrals program, that the reps who were going to “shift” into that territory would not miss a beat on their sales message and service delivery.

How to do you even begin to THINK about making a change like this?

 

1. Create a tactical plan

When you let go any person there has to be a plan. The plan this company executed was impeccable. It listed all the referral sources, the contact names, the time they were to be contacted and by which team member.

A script was created as to the message for the referral sources.

2. Execute the plan

Within 2 hours of this individual separating from the company all referral sources were contacted, and the new rep was introduced.

 

 

I know you want to know how this story ends…

Did the agency lose their top referral sources?  Was there any drama?…

 

 

The Results:

  • No major disruptions to the referral stream.
  • Several referral sources reported “they were not surprised” because they heard him speak to staff on the phone.
  • All current referral sources committed to continuing to use the agency
  • I have heard some nurses are considering coming back to the agency.

 

Reflections this week from one of the bravest acts I have seen in a long time from an owner:

  1. One person does not “make your agency” this is a team sport
  2. It is always “worst case” in your mind – but not often in reality
  3. When you have a proven process to build sales reps – you have the confidence to make tough choices and build again
  4. The referral sources reactions (or lack there of) validate the decisions

 

While we hope this never happens to you, we know you can make tough decisions and have a good outcome for the agency.

We want every employee to be a perfect fit. The reality is sometimes, they are not, and we have to build again. You can, and you will, continue to grow!

“The best way out is always through.” ―Robert Frost

 

Keep Serving Seniors!

 

Melanie Stover, OT

Co-Owner of Home Care Sales