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Why are you holding on to them? Are you scared of their relationships with key clients? Do you feel guilty that you haven’t given them all of the tools, training and attention they needed to be successful? Is the process of hiring new salespeople so painful that you would rather hold on to these people than go look for new ones? All of the above and more?
Never show fear to animals, children or sales people — they can sense weakness and they will take advantage of it.
Let’s get rid of the fears first:
You have more power than you think. Remember “Jerry Maguire?” Jerry gets fired and tries to take all of his clients with him — and almost none go. Why? Sales people have a distorted picture of the power in the relationship they have with customers. Just like Jerry’s boss, all you have to do is pound the phones – you’ll preserve the accounts, take over the relationships and move on. If you don’t have relationships with your company’s key accounts, fix that. Regardless of how good the sales rep is, you’re the CEO and you need to know your company’s key account contacts personally.
Forget about fault. You cannot own the issues of success and failure with your sales person. If he is not hitting his production goals, you don’t “owe it to him” to give him one more chance.