I recently worked with a company having problems with a particular salesperson. They produced a lot of sales, but he also created a lot of clean up opportunities for the sales manager and the owner. Clients complained that he wasn’t honest. Almost every day a client would call the sales manager or the owner and state that “Joe said I was going to get _____, and now he tells me that isn’t in our contract.” Or a sub would call and complain that the details Joe told them when he asked for a quote were different than what they saw when they arrived at the job site.

Additionally, Joe always scheduled client appointments when it was time for the weekly sales meeting. He didn’t take care of his physical appearance: his clothes didn’t fit right, he was unshaven, wouldn’t make good eye contact. In my opinion, he didn’t like himself much. And if you don’t like yourself, no one else can like you either.

The situation had created a dilemma for the owner and sales manager. There were a lot of contracts coming in, but almost as many problems.

The sales manager asked my opinion. I looked him square in the eye and told him, “This guy should be fired. Honesty isn’t the best policy; it should be your only policy.” (That’s a direct quote from our friend Zig Zigler.) I continued, “The minute Joe crossed the line of honesty and you did nothing about it, you left the door wide open for every salesperson in this company to be dishonest with any and all of your clients, subs, lenders, and whoever. Now, how long do you think it will be before word gets out on the street that the company can’t be trusted?”

Does this scenario sound familiar? If it does, you’ve let a bad situation go on to long. Clean it up. If you need help, call me.

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