How to Start Dealing with a Low Performer

Recently, I wrote a post about dealing with low performers and I promised a series of follow up posts with more details.

Here is the best way to start dealing with a low performer:

As a sales manager, you need to first determine if the performance issues are attitude related or skill related.

If it’s attitude related, you then need to determine if it’s personal (driven by issues outside of work) or professional (driven by things at work). Yes, it may be driven by more than one.  Not surprisingly, personal issues can and will impact professional outcomes and vice versa.

Attitude is not something you can deal with directly. You can only create the environment for the person to take corrective steps themselves.

When determining options, it’s important to understand if the attitude problem is likely to be a short-lived situation.  For example, a person’s attitude may slip due to the health issue a loved one is dealing with.  When the health issue passes, the salesperson’s attitude may very well correct itself.

Second key piece to remember is you cannot create an environment for the low-performer that is something you wouldn’t do for someone else.  For example, allowing the low-performer to alter their work hours to fit their commute to work may help their attitude, but could damage everyone else’s if they weren’t offered the same flexibility.

Be cautious in what you do because many times a low-performer will play games with you by using the old “if / then” approach.  They may very well say, “If you can do ____________ , then I can do _________ . “

What they’re really doing is merely getting you to give them something, and rarely will they follow through and deliver on what they said they would do.

Beware: Dealing with attitude can be a slippery slope. This is why I’m hesitant in saying attitude is something you can directly deal with.  In the end, it’s up to the individual to determine if they want to correct their attitude.

Watch for more posts in this series as you strive to build a sales team committed and enthusiastic about high-profit selling!

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

Click on the below book cover for more info on boosting your profits!

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