• Louise Roke

Selling to the Sales Person

by louise roke


The more sales people that the owner of a company has eg in real estate the more chance they think of getting more sales. Some companies don't even care what the IQ, integrity, communication, trustworthiness, capability, experience, ethics or professionalism is. The check is done... they have a pulse and a license. It is bums on seats as far as they are concerned. They will do anything to get more, more, more throwing them a few do's and don'ts and hopefully it all works out and they aren't too much of a cowboy or cowgirl and the cash walks in the owners door.


This is rort with problems. I always remember someone telling me a story about a guy who bought a real estate business. It was quite successful and had about 10 staff there. There was one main sales person and the others were just ticking along not doing anything great but were pleasant enough and seemed eager and overall the boss thought it was great stuff; he had the money rolling in. One day he thought I'm getting up there in the years so I think I will call it a day and whack the business on the market and go do the stuff that I've always wanted to do and go retire.


He put the business on the market and as it had a good history of consistent sales he soon got some nibbles and then a big bite and it was sold. The new guy came in and spent a fair bit of time within the four walls of the joint; keeping a low profile sitting down the back of the office, didn't talk much but did the best thing anyone can do if they really want to find out what's going on and that is listen. He soon discovered what was really going on how the staff interacted, what the morale and ambiance was like and took note of any structures and systems that were in place. After a week or so of doing his due diligence he made up his mind was going to buy it.


When he finally took over and said farewell to the old owner he had a meeting with all the staff. The one lady who was top dog was constantly complaining. Complaining was one thing but then any training that they did or were going to do, any new products, anything that meant changes she really made it heard that that was not necessary, a waste of time, she couldn't see the point in it and was just so loud and negative. The other thing that was obvious was she never encouraged anyone else to succeed, she saw everyone as a threat and lived in a hostile manner towards her colleagues. Her mentality was a scarcity reality; there could only be enough for her... not an abundance mentality where there was more than enough for everyone.


If any of the other sales people had anything going on she would have to put her negative two cents in and she would also claim every buyer, vendor, property and the like as she had dealt with them in her career apparently and they therefore were "hers". The new owner had to suss out the capabilities of the other staff. He knew that soon they would probably leave one by one and when he talked he found out that a number of agents had joined the company and had left after a year to 18 months and on further looking into it he discovered that they were out there in the field now as competitors and furthermore a fair few were doing great business and successful. He realised that he a) didn't want to work in a toxic environment, b) wanted to have a sales team that were excited for each other and genuinely celebrated each others successes and c) no one should be able to make others feel insignificant and stunt their growth professionally or personally and finally d) he had to make a decision that may be risky at first but he had to look at long term benefits; sort of short term pain for long term gain.


He made a decision and acted... he talked to Queen Bee and suggested to her that they start to really mentor and assist the other sales people, that we should try to be positive and really tried to change her behaviour. It is pretty clear that if someone is acting like that they are not happy; they are usually angry and sad inside surpressing something and not dealing with it and taking it out on other people.


Not long after he had started he got a call from the old owner. "What the hell happened?" he said.

"What do you mean?" "Well I just got told that you got rid of your top sales person; shit she must have done something outrageously bad. What was it I'm dying to know."

"Well," he said "nothing happened."

"What do you mean nothing happened?"

"Well I mean I gave her the opportunity to change her behaviour, offered her so many ideas, training, mentoring, all sorts of things and I could see the impact her toxic behaviour was having on the rest of the team. They weren't allowed to spread their wings and grow, they were kept in their place and they are a great bunch of sales people who I know have got so much in them that just hasn't been allowed, they hadn't been heard or valued. So I had to make a decision and that was to let her go."

The phone echoed silence; the old boss could hardly believe his ears... fancy actually getting rid of your top sales person... what an idiot he thought... no idea how to run a business or staff!


Not long after of course the company was completely different. They had taken on new initiatives, new online platforms, made some decisions about marketing, team systems were set up and everyone believed in themselves and were enthusiastic.

The business grew exponentially.


The moral of the story is of course... one bad apple will ruin the pie and that is far too many eggs in one basket. People deserve to be heard, nurtured and assisted to get to their full potential; help them fly and get rid of the turkeys....



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