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If you really have to quit, make sure you do it right


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 people?

Don’t feel the company is supporting them as salespeople?

Just had their commissions cut?

Company goes back on its word about paying or deal structure?

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 light bulb to the next, trying to find the brightest one. But I think the reasons for leaving go deeper than those listed above.

This issue is further complicated by the fact that most people, when they leave a job, don’t 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 such as, “I hate you.”

It’s interesting to note that more than 74 percent of people who 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.” 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.

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 10 requests a week from salespeople who 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 you dislike what you are doing.

2. List the reasons 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 where you want 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 can gain the same thing at your old position.

6.5. Become the No. 1 salesperson at your existing company, then quit. If you’re thinking about leaving your job and you are not the No. 1 salesperson, it is likely that you will NOT become the No. 1 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 No. 1 salesperson, no boss will be able to trash you after you leave. 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.

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 No. 1 position shouldn’t be much of a problem.

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 ones.

But beware: Your next boss may be no better than the one you just left. The new boss came across as “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 No. 1 salesperson at your previous job instead of the No. 1 whiner about your previous job. If you do this, you have set the stage for 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.

Jeffrey Gitomer can be reached by phone at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com.

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