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Leaving for greener pastures?

Do you know why? Are you sure they’re green? Why do salespeople quit their jobs? More money? Better job opportunity? Don’t like what they are doing? Don’t like the boss? Don’t like the corporate politics? Don’t like how they’re being treated as a person? Don’t feel the company is supporting them as a salesperson? Just had their commissions cut? Company goes back on its word about paying or deal structure? Not paid what they feel they are owed? Company is in a weak financial position and they’re scared? Just lost their best customer to the competition? Answer: Some or all of the above. Salespeople seem to hopscotch jobs like moths fluttering from one lightbulb to the next, trying to find the brightest one. But I think the reasons for leaving go deeper than the reasons above. I think it’s “cause and effect.” Take it deeper, and I see “motive.” “Motive” being a short word for motivation. This issue is further complicated by the fact that most people, when they do leave a job, never tell the boss the real reason for leaving. Oh, they give a “reason” like better opportunity or more money-but there’s always an underlying motive. An unspoken reason like, “I hate you.” And then there’s the boss who has to tell his other people why the salesperson quit: better opportunity or more money. It’s interesting to note that more than 74 percent of people that quit their jobs do so because of a bad boss or bad company policies. Yet, I have never heard a boss say: “My best salesperson quit, and it’s all my fault.” Note well: Within one week of the salesperson’s departure, he or she becomes the scapegoat for everything bad that’s ever happened in the history of the company. If you’re the boss, and you throw the person who quit under the bus, it sends a message to every person on the team that you’re going to do the same thing to them if they leave. Not a real boost to morale. If you’re the salesperson and you don’t have the guts to tell the boss the real reason why you’re leaving, then you have to accept your fate with respect to the trashing that you’re going to take. There are no easy answers here. Some industries are more incestuous than others. Banking, personnel, accounting, and advertising seem to have an excessive amount of job hopping going on. So, let’s take an honest look at why salespeople quit their jobs and what they can do to build their careers (instead of starting over). I get a minimum of ten requests a week from salespeople that want to quit their jobs. They ask for advice. What I tell them is what I’m going to tell you… 1. List the “real” reasons that you dislike what you are doing. 2. List the reasons that you like what you are doing. 3. Add a one-sentence description to both the dislike and the like columns to give yourself further insight into your reasons for quitting. 4. Ask yourself what negative things will be eliminated at the new job and what positive things will continue at the new job. When you do this, you take an evaluation before you enter your new position. 5. Call people at the place you want to work, or that you’ve just been hired to work, and find out what they like and dislike. 6. Write down what you feel you’ll gain (other than money) at your new position, and ask yourself if you could have gained the same thing at your old position. Note well: As you know, if you read my column, we’re about to get to the “.5.” You will not like the “.5.” The “.5” will make you grimace, but the “.5” will show you the “real” reality of where you are and where you seek to grow. 6.5 Become the number one salesperson at your existing company, then quit. If you’re thinking about leaving your job and you are not the number one salesperson, it is likely that you will not become the number one salesperson at your next job. And it is even more likely that you will bring half of your disgruntlement to your next job. If you stay at your present job until you become the number one salesperson, no boss will be able to throw you under the bus. You will leave a hero of the company, you will leave with pride, you will leave with self-respect, and you will leave with the attitude of a winner, not a whiner. See? I told you you’d hate it. So here’s your opportunity: Quit complaining, quit whining about your job or your circumstances, quit trashing other people to make yourself look good, and just dig in. If you really consider yourself great at sales, attaining the number one position shouldn’t be much of a problem. Heck, you’re always bragging about how great you are…now go prove it! There are rewards for being number one. People in your company will be nicer to you. You will earn some degree of respect, your value in the marketplace will increase, you’ll have choices, genuine choices, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ve done it for positive reasons - not negative reasons. Bosses beware: If you’re losing more than 20 percent of your salespeople every year, look in the mirror. If you “can’t find any good people out there,” here’s a big clue: There are plenty of good people out there; they’re just not working for you! Salespeople beware: Your next boss may be no better than the one you just left. The new boss just came across “sweeter” during the interview process, but is not “sweeter” in the day-to-day battle. Your best tactical and strategic advantage is to arrive on the scene as the number one salesperson from your previous job instead of the number one whiner about your previous job. If you do this, you have set the stage for sales success - your sales success. If you want more about why you wanted to quit, or what caused you to grumble, go to www.gitomer.com — register if you’re a first time user — and enter JOB ATTITUDE in the GitBit box. Gitomer can be reached at salesman@gitomer.com

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