Fired by your salesperson? Whose fault is that?

Fired by your salesperson? Whose fault is that?

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at



Fired by your salesperson? Whose fault is that?


When a salesperson leaves you for “a better job,” it’s a big red flag. If you say: “It’s all their fault,” or “if they had done this or that,” or “they weren’t that good anyway,” or “we’re better off without them.” you’re kidding yourself.

When a salesperson leaves don’t rush to judgment Your first inclination is to say it’s all their fault, later they become scapegoat for everything that ever went wrong with your company. Wrong.

Whose fault is it that they left yours or theirs? My experience has shown me time after time, salespeople leave because of corporate, management or leadership failures not because of a better offer. Sure there was a better offer, but I submit that you created the opportunity for that offer to be considered let alone accepted.

If your salesperson was happy and earning well, would they have left? No.

I challenge you to find out why that one really left before they’re all gone.

I challenge you to get real enough with yourself to get to the truth behind their leaving.

Whether you want to admit it or not, here are the 18.5 major reasons salespeople fire you. How many of them are you going to deny?

1. Lack of sales training. Support growth (and success) by training. It’s an investment not an expense.

2. Lack of support sales tools. Provide them the tools and technology they need to compete, or they will lose to the competition who does.

3. Lack of support inside team. Fighting between sales and production, or sales and inside administration = loss of enthusiasm and momentum

4. Lack of support immediate boss. Bosses who blame and badger are the losers, not the salespeople they chase away.

5. Lack of support corporate. Unrealistic goals and quotas followed by reduced sales service support, canceled advertising, and stupid memo’s about “numbers” not being met. Wrong attitude about success (Arms folded what’s he doing? Is he hitting his numbers? Stay on him).

6. Lack of leadership. Salespeople want to follow a leader with a plan.

7. Unfilled promises to salesperson about money or process. If you promise a salesperson something about money, deliver on time or lose.

8. Poor delivery repeatedly. The inability for salespeople to have their promises fulfilled to their customers. Salespeople take their promises seriously. They take it personally when their hard work to make a sale is destroyed by an unfulfilled promise.

9. Poor service after the sale. Eliminates referrals, makes the salesperson look bad, reduces pride, causes belief in the company or product to diminish.

10. Inability of product to perform to claims. Your salespeople must develop a belief system around a product, or it can’t be sold. Before they can sell it they must be sold on it themselves.

11. Unfulfilled promises after the sale to the customer. Salespeople feel personally responsible for the promises they make.

12. Negative attitude of the boss. Grumpy boss equals low morale, equals high staff turnover. Bosses create their own fate. What’s yours?

13. Owner (or boss) does not command respect. If the boss is inexperienced, has questionable ethics, is moody, or is poor at selling it’s hard for him to earn the respect needed to lead (or keep) the team.

14. Internal conflicts bickering. Fights that no one wins. Production fighting sales. Accounting fighting sales. Outside people fighting inside people. Why? No answer that makes sense. Who loses the fight? The customer.

15. Not what they were told when they were hired. When you tell a prospective employee stuff about the company and the job they remember it. They believe it. They rely on it. And if it’s different after they begin working different is usually bad.

16. Lack of acceptance (by either party). Not fitting in to the existing culture. Not feeling at home. Petty jealousies and arguments. Resisting change.

17. Poor communication. From anyone to anyone that affects sales. Not being told, or finding out the wrong way leads to confusion, frustration, anger, and quitting.

18. Unmet expectations. Told what is would be. Building a dream. Not seeing the dream come true for whatever reason exit, stage left.

18.5 Lack of action to begin to fix or alter the situation. When too much time passes between problem and solution or resolve, people become unsettled and disgruntled and look elsewhere.

Here’s the secret If you want to build great salespeople build a great sales manager. One of the best sales managers I know is Butch Allen at FOX 18 WCCB TV, Charlotte, NC. He is a great salesperson, he is a great listener, he is dedicated to selfimprovement, he treats his team with respect, he has a positive attitude, he offers lots of incentives, he encourages his team to win, he is firm about process and procedures, he sets goals with his team and helps them achieve them, he has productive upbeat weekly meetings oh yeah, Surprise! He also has low turnover. Someone got promoted last year he had his pick of the litter, because his company was so attractive, people were fighting for the job.

Are they fighting for your job? or fighting you?

FREE GitBit… Want a list of the 12 characteristics of a great sales manager and ten ways to motivate and counsel salespeople? Just go to click FREE STUFF then click GitBit register and enter the secret words, “SALES MANAGER”.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email

1999 All Rights Reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written

permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer 704/3331112.