What to do when your poor performer thinks they are a star

We’ve either got one in our teams right now, we’ve had one in our teams before, we are one** or we’ve been one – the poor performer who thinks they’re a star.

The evidence is all around them: the declining or poor results, consistent poor feedback from multiple sources internally and externally.  And yet it’s never them.  They have stories rather than numbers.  They have excuses or reasons rather than outcomes.  They have vagueness rather than specifics. Typically, these folks fall into 2 categories: one who once confronted with the truth of the situation demonstrates a willingness to change; the other for whom denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. Regardless of which category, it’s vital to provide consistent opportunities for them to confront reality….and then to take appropriate action. The first group will use it as an opportunity to improve, and the Egyptian deep river lovers will probably use it as an opportunity to take themselves to a company where they believe their undiscovered and unrecognised talents will be better appreciated! What matters most is that your team sees you as their leader being consistent in your approach across the team.   Here are 3 ideas to help you to hold a mirror to your team members:

Go to client meetings with them

provide them with the opportunity to self-evaluate and provide coaching. Observe how they take ownership for action to improve and whether they execute on what they’ve said they would.

Focus on behaviour that can be measured and improved

 planning for meetings, execution of plans, ability to achieve meeting outcomes, less complaints or positive feedback from internal stakeholders, reduced sales cycles, improved conversion rates….

Gather confidential customer feedback

if customers a) know it’s confidential and b) it’s for professional development than performance management, you’re likely to uncover themes that if addressed can lead to big improvements. Never use this as an exercise to pit customers against sales people. It’s about consistent behaviours that are hindering success, that once identified can be changed.   Provide as many opportunities as possible to heighten your team’s awareness of what is and isn’t working, and help them to work through why.  Support them to become increasingly self-aware to eventually become their own best coaches.  Most of all, raise your own awareness as a sales leader.  Get real.  Stay connected to the truth.

**just make sure you’re not in denial!!

View our other posts

Structure is the Key

If the business world in Australia goes into hibernation, what on earth do we as salespeople do?    Well I guess we could pull up stumps and “go home” mentally and turn our attentions elsewhere.  That’s certainly one option. My question about that though, is what...

The Hidden Impact on your Customer Facing Teams

Bushfires.  Coronavirus.  Global Recession.  Mass layoffs.  Daily updates on social distancing.  Industries disappearing.  Queues at Centrelink.   It’s rough.  Could get rougher.  Could?  Let me change that to probably will. For the industries who still have...

How to connect despite social distancing

Life has just jumped tracks.    One minute we were heading into a recession…but we kind of knew how to handle that…and we could prepare ourselves for less spending by less individuals and businesses…It would hurt, but it was something we could handle. Coronavirus...

How to sell in a recession

It’s coming.  Some say it’s here.  We dodged the last one….just.  This one is seemingly unavoidable. Selling is easy when the economy is buoyant, when confidence is high and employment is so abundant people are quitting jobs to pursue their passions. Relatively...

Coronavirus Update

These certainly are interesting times we’re living in, aren’t they?   With each day comes new information and new restrictions about the way we interact with one another to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable to Coronavirus.  I wanted to reach out to you...

One thing impacts something else

We don’t just transform in one way without transforming in other (sometimes unexpected) ways.  We just don’t.  I used the example of extreme weight loss in another article, so let’s return there for the purpose of example.  In losing say, 37kg in weight a person will...

Staying Hungry and Humble

There is a truth in sales that must be accepted in order to be truly successful and to ensure that success is continued.  And that is that we never pass go.  To use the Monopoly Board analogy, we may step on the destination but then we move beyond it…over and over and...

Acting As If and Imposter Syndrome

At some point in our career, each of us feels like we’re going to get the tap on the shoulder to tell us that the game is up.  They’re finally onto us…nice try but we’ll take it from here.  Imposter Syndrome.But where does Acting “As if” fit into this, and is it the...

Service is a privilege

To be of service is a privilege.   There I’ve said it.  It’s the fastest way to right size yourself, to put your ego well and truly back in its place and to live a life of legacy and purpose.  Not everyone sees it like this. Service isn’t related only to a job, a role...

2020: Hindsight or Vision?

Welcome to 2020! What a year, right?     What’s it going to bring you?  What will you bring to it? In December I wrote that with the start of a new decade, we have the opportunity to leave behind the habits, behaviours, thinking patterns, feelings, approaches...