Does Your Top Sales Person Have a Conflict Causing Personality?

Dec 06, 2016

Does Your Top Salesperson Have a Conflict Causing Personality

We all know at least one person who loves to take all the credit for a job well done—even if the accomplishment was a group effort. Lots of businesses can identify with this drama-causing problem in the office, including auto sales dealers. This type of contradictory behavior can be especially problematic if it describes someone on your sales team. Not only are they stealing the limelight, this employee is also undermining your dealership's ability to have a cohesive, high performing team.

Consider your top sales person. Perhaps he or she says they are a team player, but actions speak louder than words. Or, because of their high productivity, they believe the rules don't apply to them. From hijacking leads from coworkers to wanting all the recognition for sales, and even spreading office gossip, this individual could be hurting your bottom line—despite closing the most sales. Sound familiar?

A sales person, or any employee for that matter, who exhibits contradictory behavior negatively affects the entire team and overall productivity. No one trusts someone who continually says one thing, but does another. Trust is the basis of a high performing team and when trust is threatened, it slowly chips away at the team's ability to perform optimally.

Individuals who exhibit contradictory behavior also cause a huge distraction, not only to the team, but also to the manager. As a manager, you may be spending a lot of time dealing with this one person instead of spending time leading and coaching the entire team. It's often too easy—and harmful—for unnecessary drama and conflict to distract your attention from what really matters at your dealership.

Depending on how deeply the individual is affecting the culture of your team, this could have a negative impact on an auto dealership's CSI and brand. Think about it: If a customer observes negative behavior coming from their sales person, overhears gossip, or is told negative things about other employees, the customer may prefer to shop elsewhere. Negativity spawns negative results.

Of course, the employee's ability to "close the deal" cannot be ignored. What can you do to maintain this person's productivity, but keep them from draining your company's culture—and your bottom line?

  1. Identify what drives the contradictory behavior. Discover the person's core motivators by asking questions; but remember to have a conversational tone, not a confrontational tone. Using specific examples of the individual's behavior, ask about their intent and what led them to make those particular decisions.
  2. Set clear goals and expectations. Once you have identified the individual's core motivators, you can set behavioral objectives for the employee that meet your expectations. Holding the individual accountable for their actions is essential, so plan on meeting with them regularly to follow up.

You need to be in observation mode to truly detect contradictory behavior, which makes it difficult to pinpoint in a potential hire; pre-employment tests offer little help in identifying this behavior. However, reference checks may provide some insight into an individual's past behavior with previous employers. No matter if you're hoping to avoid hiring someone with a conflict causing personality or are currently dealing with such an employee, contradictory behavior is a big issue that needs to be addressed—for your sake, your team, and your dealership.

ZERORISK helps organizations build great cultures by identifying, developing, and retaining top talent. The ZERORISK Hiring System blends a revolutionary behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to reduce unwanted turnover and improve employee performance. For more information contact us at (800) 827-5991.

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