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4 Signs It’s Time to Let Go of a Salesperson

Last Updated on February 16, 2021

Fire Salesperson - Let Salesperson Go

It’s never an easy decision to fire someone, especially when your business put quite a bit of money into hiring them and getting them up to speed.

And of course, finding new talent can be costly and time-consuming too. So you don’t want to let someone go who can become a valuable member of your team with the right training and nurturing.

But, in certain situations, letting go is the right call.

When a problematic salesperson is likely to cost your business time, money, and opportunity – it’s probably best to start fresh.

So how do you know?

Here are four signs it might be best to let a salesperson go (or if you’re a salesperson, that it’s time to shape up!!)

They’re Not Coachable

A lot of problems can be fixed with coaching. Of course, while some agents are super open and receptive to feedback, others are set in their ways and averse to it. And that’s a problem.

When a salesperson thinks they know everything and consistently ignores direction, it’s time to consider cutting them loose.

Even if they are hitting their numbers.

After all, being coachable is not just about performance. It’s about selling in a way that represents the company well. It’s about conforming to a company’s processes and systems. Salespeople that ignore coaching because they think they’re doing well can become a liability. They can harm a company’s reputation and negatively impact the performance of the team as a whole.

2. They Consistently Underperform

This is a common reason for terminating a salesperson and perhaps the easiest to justify. At the end of the day, a salesperson needs to make sales. If you’ve provided ample training and coaching and they still can’t perform, they’re costing your business money.

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However, the keyword here is “underperform,” which is a bit different than not selling enough. There could be other reasons the sales aren’t coming. Perhaps the economy has taken a downturn and sales are flat across the board. Or, a competitor released something new and valuable that’s winning them market share.

Ask yourself if you’ve put the salesperson in a position to succeed and given them the same opportunities as the rest of the sales team. If you have and they keep putting up lower numbers than everyone else, they likely aren’t cut out for their current role.

3. They Have a Negative Attitude

Depending on a salesperson’s performance, you may wrestle with the idea of letting someone go for a negative attitude. After all, it’s tough to lose someone who is producing, especially if it’s a top performer.

You should never forgive a bad attitude because of good sales, though. When one person on the team has a negative attitude, it can bring the entire team down, and impact both productivity and job satisfaction team-wide.

Bottom line? If a salesperson consistently has the wrong attitude, even after you’ve spoken to them about it, it may be time to find their replacement.

4. They Aren’t Making Clients Happy

You can’t please everybody. And the occasional disagreement between a salesperson and a client can happen. But… if it happens with frequency, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

Smart businesses ensure that clients are happy both during the sales process, and after the sale is closed.

If a salesperson is too aggressive, doesn’t act with complete integrity, or convinces clients to make a purchase even when it isn’t the right decision, it can come back to bite them.

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Relationships are crucial to the success of your business. A track record of complaints against one salesperson is a sign that they’re not doing their job properly. And when that persists despite efforts to fix the issue, it’s time to let go.

Wrapping Up 4 Signs It’s Time to Let Go of a Salesperson…

An honest effort to improve the performance or behavior of a salesperson is always wise. But sometimes it’s not enough. While it can be hard to terminate someone, there are occasions when it is in the best interests of everyone involved.

To recap, here are the signs that it may very well be time to give a salesperson their walking papers:

  • They aren’t coachable and open to feedback, guidance or direction.
  • They can’t perform as well as you need, despite sufficient training and the same opportunities as the rest of your team.
  • They keep bringing a negative attitude to the office.
  • You often get complaints from clients about this specific salesperson.