How to Fire Like a Shark

Investor and Entrepreneur
Barbara Corcoran on her system for firing salespeople who are dragging down the company.
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Barbara Corcoran: Nobody’s happy doing what they’re not good at. You want to get a great job you love? Do something you’re good at. When a salesperson isn’t producing they’re not happy.  And so you must have a system to make sure that they can move on to something that’s gonna make them happy.  In the real estate sales field only one in four salespeople ever succeed at selling enough to even meet their overhead. So in my business I needed an ironclad system to make sure I had an exit strategy for every single would-be salesperson who didn’t have the talent. So what I did is fire 25 percent of my salesforce every year, because we needed to move them out and make the desk available to take another shot at someone who might really be talented in sales.

I never fired a salesperson who didn’t love me for it, because I allowed them to move on to something potentially that would make them happy. When you have a sales organization with unhappy salespeople as a large percentage of your population, it drags down the energy of the company, drains your financial resources, and so you can’t take care properly of the salespeople at the top.  

So you’ve got to come up with a firing system - that always happens - and the reason it has to be a system is the very managers that are great at hiring are terrible at firing. Nobody’s good at it.  Nobody wants to do it so you have to make a system of doing it. My system was simple.  I ranked every salesperson from the top producer to the bottom whether I had 50 people or 500 people and always the bottom 25 percent were not making it.  And so you must have a system where it’s mandatory that if people are not making it that there’s a system for dismissing them after a period of time of trying like crazy to help them.

Directed/Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton