Never being a beer drinker I have stood around many campfires with a very clear head. As I turn to roast each quadrant of my body, I observe. The evening begins with a high pile of boughs and logs set alight from last night’s embers, followed by the steady flow of barley juice and accompanied by enthusiastic banter, wild tales, gales of laughter and ‘intelligent’ conversations. As fewer beer cases find their way onto the fire there is less enthusiasm to find more wood and the fire settles into a simmering glow. The sodden celebrants wander off to their evening roosting place while two or three philosophers remain to critique the company’s approach to greenhouse gases and the name of Napoleon’s horse.
There is a direct correlation between amount of beer, heat of fire and time.
And so it is with salespeople.
I have also observed over the decades that new salespeople are inclined to start with a blaze. You give them a start with a few leads and by dint of early enthusiasm, their desire to please you, to prove to their family it was worth taking up the sales position, they do quite well. In some cases, they boost their results by selling to their family, friends and former customers. They come second in the sales performance ladder in their first month.
They do even better in their second month and hit the top of the leader board. You think you’ve found a keeper.
Then something predictable happens. Over the next few months, the beer runs out; the fire starts to die.
- They run out of family and friends,
- they’ve seen all their old customers,
- you give leads to other team members,
- new prospects are harder to find,
- some of the customers from months one and two whom they over-pursuaded to purchase express dissatisfaction,
- the opposition mounts an eager price war,
- a new competitor enters the market.
Their sales slip under the average a bit and then a bit more and then a lot more. Enthusiasm ebbs. The fire goes out. Sales dry up.
Then the inevitable
Reluctantly, you tell your sales manager to apply the pointy end of the shoe.
Or to your great relief, a new opportunity opens up for them with a ‘better’ firm.
All your effort to hire them and keep them supplied with hope has gone up in smoke. Doh-oh!
What can you do?
ONE: You should induct your next new salesperson properly and not only get them on a Fast start to sales but in so doing, give them enough fuel to keep the fire alight. Watch the video preview of the course here.
TWO: You should enroll your entire sales team, eight at a time in the six week Sell more, easier, faster course which includes entertaining online lessons and webinar coaching with me. You can preview the course and enrol here.