Like you, I am hearing of too many talented sellers in our industry considering a job change.
And while leaders won’t be able to stop all the shifting, I do think there are things that can be done to Build Up Immunity and help stave off a big loss like a top seller.
I was a top local media seller for 25 years, and during that time I saw my fair share of sales leaders, from the ‘do what I say’ ones to the ‘want to be liked’ ones … from mediocrity to dedicated leaders who gave and got the most from their sales teams. The latter ones I found myself bound to the most, and they had these 4 things in common:
- Coached, Taught, Mentored. It’s not only new hires and underperformers who need and want coaching. High achievers are driven to reach higher goals and will appreciate your coaching to help them improve. The most successful sellers I’ve known are also thirsty for knowledge. Are you providing opportunities to learn and grow?
- Showed Empathy. Too often sales leaders put all their focus on the numbers … and forget to focus on the people responsible for making those numbers. Selling locally remains a human-to-human endeavor, and being human with our sellers is a key retention tactic. You may feel bogged down with corporate reports and spreadsheets, but make sure to come up for air and connect with your team.
On this empathy note, remember that veteran salespeople have seen their role change so much since they started. Our omni-channel solutions have brought both opportunity and challenge, and with many variables out of sellers’ control, fulfillment can be messy. We expect veterans to have the skills to accept and grow through this change, but don’t forget to let them know you “get it.”
- Evolved as a manager. Sellers aren’t the only ones who need to change with the times. Are you also evaluating ways you might need to modify your role? Are you accessible to your team and to clients; do you offer suggestions and strategy relevant to today’s omni-channel environment?
- Cared about legacy, honesty, and trust. Be the leader you’d want leading you.
As a reminder, there are intangible costs when you lose a key player …
- Trusted relationships with clients may need to be rebuilt.
- Loss of knowledge and informal training that stars often pass on to other sellers.
- Team morale impact—added responsibilities could cause resentment. Studies show peer turnover can be contagious, especially if the exiting employee is a top performer.
- Loss of a leader/an advocate in your sales pit. Most top sellers are also your station’s biggest advocates, and if they leave, you’re left trying to replace far more than their sales ability.
Remember when you were in the seller role … didn’t you find yourself wanting to work a little bit harder for managers who were students of the industry, dedicated, human, honest, and inspiring? It was hard to consider leaving those leaders.
Let’s Build up our Immunity to losing key sellers during this great resignation by embracing the above 4 actions and mindsets.