Joey was a beautiful baby. He was a healthy, strong little guy. Only one thing wrong – he never spoke, not a word.
At two, three, four and five Joey was silent. His parents cajoled him (they couldn’t think of a better word). Doctors examined his tongue and larynx. Child psychologists prodded his psyche.
Joey would smile silently and do his schoolwork, play with friends and happily engage anyone who approached him. He simply never employed any words.
At seven years old, the world had given up on Joe.
One morning he sat at breakfast and, when mom handed him his plate, Joey said. “This toast is burnt.”
Mom and dad were shocked into silence. Finally the boy’s mother exclaimed, “Joey, those are your first words! After all these years, why didn’t you say anything until now?”
The little boy replied, “Because until now, everything’s been okay.”
Sales managers – how do you tag or label reps who aren’t performing up to par?
Do you recognize the difference between a bad learner and a slow learner?
Because one is worth the investment. The other is worth a quick walk to the door.
Here’s a truth in training: Everyone learns at a different pace. We’d like the new kid on the block to show up and make the all star team in his or her rookie season. But you have to admit, that’s a rare occurance.
So how do we set proper expectations for new sales hires?
If you decide – before you hire – what activities indicate a rookie rep’s ability to strive toward success, you’ll know when someone is slowly (or quickly) growing into the role.
And don’t forget to speak up and let everyone know what you expect, and how long you’ll wait for them to “arrive” in their role. Setting standards, and numbers to attain gets the group to understand what is tolerable for each member of the team.
Like little Joey showed us, silence and surprises are not good for your sales family.