Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford

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Q&A Week 6 - August 4, 2018

For the past few years, since I began using this weekly blog to share stories about sales and sales management, I have been receiving numerous questions from readers including my own clients. Over the next several months I am going to use my weekly ramblings to post one reader question with my answer. Please note – my answers are based on my personal and professional experiences and in no way reflect my company or specific clients.

 

Q: What is the most recent mistake you’ve made in business and what was the lesson learned?

 

A: I broke the golden rule of hiring & firing – to hire slow and fire fast. I made the decision to hire a sales person based on only a few interviews that were condensed in a matter of a couple weeks. I believed the candidate would be a worthwhile hire based on his years of experience and his communication skills, especially his writing skills. Unfortunately, because I fast tracked the hiring process, I did not spend nearly enough time analyzing his capabilities in new business development and cold calling. While his sales experience seemed extensive on paper, he was not skilled in new business development, rather he was a glorified account manager. He was not successful in cold calling, networking, or developing new opportunities on his own. I then gave him many more chances and opportunities to improve than I should have. Actually, it was unfair to him as well to keep him around with false hope that he could turn around his activity level. In fact, I should have let him go after three months. It was definitely a mistake on my part to hire him and even a bugger mistake not to fire him sooner.

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