Each week on the popular show, "The Apprentice", Donald Trump presents two teams with a business challenge. The winning team goes to the suite, and one of the members on the losing team hears, "You're fired!", and goes to the street. Sometimes it is obvious who needs to get fired, and sometimes, it's a tough choice. As a salesperson, you are faced with tough choices on a daily basis. These tough choices ultimately determine your success or failure as a salesperson. My challenge to you this month is to ask yourself the question, "Who should I fire?", in the context of the following areas:
Yes, that's right. Which customers should you fire? This may sound crazy, but I can tell you from experience that 80% of your wasted time and energy is coming from the bottom 20% of your customers. By getting rid of them, you will simplify your business, lower your stress, and create more space for better customers!
Is someone on your sales team pulling you down? Are you tolerating less than 100% effort from your support team? If so, you can make a huge improvement in your sales effort by getting rid of the problem and bringing on someone who can be the solution. Again, the less problems you have to deal with, the more time you can be selling.
3. Referral Partners
Do you have a one-way referral relationship with some of your referral partners? Are you working hard to help them grow their business, but are getting nothing in return? Maybe it's time to say, "You're fired!", and replace them with a true partner that is going to repay your efforts with some good referrals.
I see many salespeople making the mistake of "more is better" when it comes to opportunities. Some examples include: belonging to too many networking groups, getting spread too thin with too many customers, and belonging to too many outside organizations such as Chambers of Commerce and industry groups. Do yourself a favor and focus on one or two opportunities, instead of spreading yourself so thin that you lessen your outcomes.
Yes, this is a tough question. Should you fire yourself? Do you really love what you do? Are you giving your best effort? Are you passionate about your product or service? While a sales career can be very rewarding, it's a tough job. If you don't love what you do, perhaps it's time to move on. By asking yourself, "Who should I fire?", you can leverage your sales efforts and make more money in less time. Isn't that really what it is all about?