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Coaching the Star Performer

Sales Advice from the desk of Selling Coach, Lee Novak

Dear Lee,

I have a tenured sales person who has a history of overachieving his sales quota for the past three years. In fact, he has been one of the top performers in the company and is excellent at closing business in competitive accounts. However, his service after the sale and his follow through is the worst on my team. Clients have complained frequently about feeling as if, he only cares about them when he is selling them something and then he disappears, doesn't return phone calls, etc. I have attempted to coach him on this deficit but quite frankly, he doesn't take criticism very well and I have seen no improvement. How can I counsel him to improve without damaging his level of high performance?

Frustrated in MN

Dear Frustrated,

As a Manager you have to always manage with the following three pillars. First is the CLIENT, second is your TEAM and third is the individual ASSOCIATE. In this case, your client is not happy and rest assured, other members of your team are taking note of how, the Star performer is managing his territory and they are also observing how YOU are managing the Star. Therefore, you have to address it! 

Here is my advice. First appeal to his ego by saying something like, you are such a talent that me bringing up this critically important improvement is like, criticizing Cindy Crawford's beauty because she has a mole on her face! However as the Manager/Coach of this team, I have to share with you that, I've received numerous complaints about your poor follow up from clients, after the sale. For the good of the company and for your own legacy in the marketplace it is imperative that this area is improved upon immediately.

Then lay out an action plan to hold him accountable. Make the Star aware that, you will on a go forward basis, contact each of the clients that he has sold to, thirty days after the sale is made, to ensure that they are indeed happy. Additionally you plan to organize a binder for his use and you plan to share it with the Senior Executive team containing, all the Positive comments you expect to receive. You didn't mention if, your Star has aspirations to move upward within your company. If he does, you should appeal to his ambition by, letting him know that his improvement in this very important area will, certainly enhance his skill set portfolio and improve his opportunities for advancement. Good Luck and Great Selling!

For additional Sales Management questions, I can be reached at [email protected] or 832 567 8512

More Stories By Lee Novak

Lee Novak is a twenty-five year Sales Management Executive who uses a proven people-first, client-first philosophy. Lee has a reputation for building teams that not only are high performance groups but also who do business the right way, at the right time and for the right reasons. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his sales leadership, innovativeness and measured performance, while working in various Executive roles at ADP Dealer Services (a Fortune 500 company in the technology and service sector) for twenty one years - where he was responsible for over $ 600,000,000 in revenue during his tenure. Lee is currently Partner at Novak Enterprise Consulting which focuses on Sales Management Coaching, Associate Development, Improving Sales Performance and Life Enrichment Coaching and he is a respected keynote speaker for corporate and award banquet events.