In previous posts, I shared techniques on dealing with a low performer.
You can check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
Now I must give you some advice to keep you from being swallowed up by doing nothing but trying to help the low performer improve.
Keep in mind that as you work with the low performer, you must still be running the rest of the business.
Too many times I’ve seen sales managers turn their work with the low-performer into a personal mission that overpowers everything else.
It’s good to be passionate about helping people, but not to the point of being blind to the team.
Also, you have to be careful the low performer doesn’t suck you into believing the only reason they’re not successful is due to you not spending enough time with them or some other issue where they can place blame.
If the low performer is not willing to step up and be responsible and take ownership, you have only one choice — You must terminate them as rapidly as possible.
Finally, watch for the post-training dip.
This is where the person’s results improve just enough to allow you to believe they’re going to be great, only to see the momentum slowly slide right back down.
Unfortunately, if this happens, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself.
First one is, “Does this person have the potential to ever make it in the organization?”
If your answer is no, cut them loose. If your answer is yes, then you have to ask yourself what changes you can make to help get them over the hump.
One idea might be to set them up with a mentor — a high-peformer — on your team who you believe has the ability to coach others.
Whatever you do, the action must be decisive.
Don’t allow yourself to believe that by waiting another six months to make a decision, things are going to somehow be fine.
The only thing you’re doing is avoiding making the tough decision.
Your low performer must either be making measureable improvements from the start of your development process or they’re gone.
You can’t afford any middle ground.
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.