Strange week this week, from recruiting a natural salesman on Monday to letting one go who should never have been taken on by my predecessor. The new hire has a presence, calmness and reassuring approach coupled with a steely determination and an instilled moral base. The vacating guy has none of these attributes - in fact the complete opposites in terms of personal makeup; and will just take his inabilities and problems with him to another sales position somewhere else.
I have the opportunity to conduct an exit interview on Monday and will try to counsel him to look for an alternative career, he simply is not cut out for the job. He has been in sales for six years with three positions in that time, why have these shortcomings not been spotted before? This poor guy has pretty much wasted six years of his working life in pursuit of a job role he can't do, why has no one cared to help him realise why before? He had been through the company sales training academy in the first six months with us and no one appeared to notice his inability to get the fundamental stuff right. What is it that makes managers believe they can recruit (particularly those new into the management role) It is probably the most important part of the people management task and paradoxically the area least well trained.
I'm sure this rolling problem is one of the reasons that sales as a profession has such a poor perception in the UK, guys like the one leaving my team keep getting hired by managers with poor recruitment training and the bad sales techniques are perpetuated. These failures cost companies and the economy billions in lost time and sales. Selling is one of the toughest choices for a career, why do so many people believe they can do it?