Firing Isn’t Failure

I don’t know about you but not every salesperson I’ve hired turned out to be a winner. If they were, I’d probably be spending my days at the racetrack getting rich.

If by some unfortunate stroke of bad luck you happen to hire a salesperson who doesn’t work out and you have to fire the person, don’t take the situation personally. Having to fire someone who, for whatever reason, didn’t work out, isn’t a crime, just a poor judgement call. Don’t despair, you can regain or maintain your credibility by making the proper decision and correct the situation.

Whatever you do, don’t blame the person who persuaded you that he was right for the job. When talking to the person, be candid and honest. Take responsibility for what went wrong. Then provide fair financial compensation and get the person out the door with his self-esteem and confidence intact. It’s the least that you owe the person.

Making a bad hire is a mistake. Failing to fire is often a bigger mistake.

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2 Responses to “Firing Isn’t Failure”

  1. Jim Domanski April 6, 2010 at 8:19 am #

    Excellent article, as ever!

    Let me ask: do you think sales managers tend to keep ineffective reps for too long, hoping that time or fate, suddenly transform the individual? I ask because many sales managers I have worked with seem reluctant to fire (for whatever reason) and hold on to the rep until the situation finally festers out of control. By that stage, the net result seems to be an messy and stressful situation.

    • Brian Jeffrey April 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

      Any of us who have had to fire someone, particularly someone we hired and like, realize that it is a painful experience which probably accounts for why we avoid doing the dastardly deed. We don’t do anyone, ourselves or the under-performer, any favors. Many sales managers hope that the under-performer will leave on their own without realizing that they have no incentive to do so. I wrote the eBook “How to Fire a Salesperson Without Getting Burned!” to help people deal with this situation.

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