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Poor Team Players In Retail sales

Posted By Robert, 1/14/2013

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Hello Rene, I really enjoyed reading your article in the November/December  issue of Furniture World. I certainly agree with the four critical elements of team playing. 

The only thing that you did not hit on was, what do you do witha employee that is not a team player? How do your work withthis person and keep a positive outlook? I have been in furniture sales for a long time. I love my customers and helping people everyday. 

We have a salesperson named Joan who wreaks havoc on everyone from the sales floor to the wharehouse. She does notbother me, she knows I have her number and therefore we are cordial and she avoids me. Almost everyday she brings drama and controversay to the salesfloor which has a adverse effecton other salespeople and I am sure overall sales. 

Back a few weeks ago I was having coffee with the owner and I asked him , when you hire someone do you do a background check or contact a previous employer. I pointed out that Joan has worked for a number of major furniture stores in our area over a 12 year period and seems to have left each one on less than good terms and never has a positive or kind word for them. I added that I see a common denominator here. The owner readily admited that she has problems and comes  with trouble, but adds she is a cracker jack salesperson.

I noted that he has 6 other salespeople with potential to be crackerjack salespeople but he will never know as long as she is here causing problems and drama. I don't think he got my point. Thanks for reminding me about team players and the importance of a peacful enviroment.


From Robert, 1/14/2013  1:26 PM

Thank you for writing in to comment on the article Unfortunately the story you have outlined is not uncommon. I personally believe in taking control of the situtaiton and if the person does not alter their "unsportsmanlike" behavior I would take corrective action.

It is always easier said by consultant than done by the people whose bottom line it directly affects. Another important and more effective approach is to structure and coach in a way that prevents these situations from concurring  If we as owners and managers put energy and focus into building a positive environment and make it clear that certain behaviorism are not tolerated,  hopefully we will develop successful sales professionals as well as that positive team environment.

Take care and thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Rene' Gingrich

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