Are You Paying Attention to Warning Signs?

Are You Paying Attention to Warning Signs?

Leaders and managers must be conscious and pay attention to the warning signs around them. Warning signs are the signals that people give, which may indicate potential trouble. If you do not pay attention to the warning signs around you or you ignore them, you will get hurt. How do you spot warning signs? Ask yourself: Does something not add up? Do you have a gut feeling about someone? What signals have you ignored or missed about them? For example, if you have an underperforming remote salesperson, the below signals would be warning signs.

  • The people that they associate with are not doing well personally or professionally.
  • Their references were not enthusiastic and did not call you back quickly to speak on their behalf.
  • They are never signed into Lync (IM); is it because they are in front of clients or something else?
  • They are willing to take a week’s vacation even though their territory is under-performing.
  • They build their QBR presentation during key client selling time versus after-hours.
  • They do not have a grasp of the company’s products after significant training and coaching.
  • They do not know their territory after four months; e.g., “What other states do I cover?”
  • They drink at work outside of traditional work-related celebrations or happy hours.
  • They have been married three times; a big deal, no, but if they cannot get along with people, it is a clue.
  • They have golf clubs in their trunk; again, a big deal, no, but it is a clue if their production is low.
  • They tell you they played three hours of racketball last night, but have not closed a deal in the current quarter.
  • When you ask them how it is going, they say “good,” but do not elaborate (i.e., nothing to tell).
  • You are asked the same questions over and over (they are not listening or committed).
  • You are on the telephone selling more than they are while you both are in the same office.
  • You are unable to transition key enterprise accounts to them because they are not ready, but should be.

Other warning signs can include: being accident prone, being hyper critical, being overly litigious, having financial problems, unable to execute, etc. A major part of success is avoiding trouble and the people that bring trouble with them. Bad things happen to good people when good people get themselves involved with people that both attract and create trouble. Bad people generally provide clear, obvious warning signs. Everyone seems nice when you are not looking, so be conscious and look. What warning signs do you see?

All contents copyright © 2013, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.


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