September '15

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rv-pro.com September 2015 • RV PRo • 81 forced others to take a good, hard look in the mirror. That's the day when his fol- lowers finally accepted responsibility for their poor performance. Step 4: Don't tolerate mediocre sales performance. You've got to stand firm when it comes to not tolerating mediocre sales perfor- mance. Far too often, poorly performing salespeople are allowed to continue their lackluster ways, acting like a dead weight on the rest of the team. There are several reasons why sales man- agers hang on too long to poor performers. A manager may not want to face the hassle of recruiting a replacement, or, the manager may not have the time to recruit. This is a big mistake. The successful sales manager doesn't hesitate to "pull the trigger" when neces- sary. There's an old saying: "There's only one thing worse than a salesperson who quits and leaves – the salesperson who quits and stays." You can talk all you want about min- imum acceptable performance, but the fact is that your minimum acceptable perfor- mance standard is walking around in your sales department right now. Your lowest producer is your minimum acceptable standard. Your objective is to escort low pro- ducers to "the intersection of choice." By that, I mean poor performers must make a decision themselves to either a) recommit themselves to engage in the behaviors and activities necessary for success, or b) leave the dealership immediately. The key question is this: If you knew then what you know now, is there any- body on your team you would not have hired? If so, get "hands-on" and escort that individual to his or her intersection of choice. Step 5: Set performance standards. To set performance standards, you've got to communicate your expectations. So, raise the BAR on everyone with standards that consist of Behavior, Activity and Results. A behavior standard, for example, could be to arrive in the dealership every morning before 8 a.m. An activity standard could be to make a minimum of 25 follow-up calls every day. A result standard could be that a sales rep with seven to nine months' sales experience must sell a minimum of 12 vehicles per month. On results standards, I recommend you set two standards. One is a lower "keep your job" standard. Salespeople who fall below the minimum standard for a three- month period are placed on probation. If sales don't pick up in the next quarter, that person must be "de-hired." Another standard performance is, of course, a higher sales quota. Step 6: De-hire those who fall below minimum standards. You have to be willing to de-hire those below minimum standards. Your sales- people will be wondering, "Do you really mean it?" Trust me, the first person you de-hire will send a loud and clear message – performance standards will be enforced. If you don't enforce them, your standards are meaningless. Step 7: Don't spend all your time with the salespeople who need you the most. One of the biggest mistakes managers make is to spend all their time with the low producers. But, when you think about it, even if you increase their productivity by 20 percent, so what? It is far better to spend your time with the people most capable of translating your coaching efforts into significant sales results. To identify who you should spend your time with conduct a "triage" (a trauma center established to save the most lives possible, in the event of a disaster.) In triage, medical professionals quickly assess the wounded and segment them into three groups: A. Those who will survive, even without immediate medical attention. B. Those who will die, even if they receive immediate medical attention. C. And those who will live if they get attention, but will die if they don't. If you've got limited time to coach, you want to spend your efforts on Group C. Here's the rule: spend one-on-one time with

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