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Manage a Problem Top Producer Or It Will Get Worse

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Nov 13, 2013

Dear Barb:

I have a top producer in my office who has worked for me for over 10 years and she represents 37% of our revenue. She is causing major problems in my office. She comes in late, sets her own rules and has even brought other employees to tears. I can’t afford to lose her, but I dread coming in to my own office every day. I know I’m going to lose other employees if I don’t manage her, but I don’t know where to start. I would appreciate any advice you could provide.

Susan H.

Mariettta, Georgia

Barb Responds

Dear Susan:

I think most owners reading this have probably had a similar experience – myself included. It’s important to realize that one person can’t make your business, but one can break it. You will lose respect and credibility with your team if you do not take actions needed to properly manage your top producer especially if she is so disruptive.

This is the primary reason you need to protect yourself as an owner and always have two individuals on your team as contacts with all of your clients. If you lose someone, you still have another person who has a relationship with clients. As the owner, you need to build relationships, with all key accounts in your business.

Currently, you have options you can consider:

Option one: You assign a second contact on all the clients your company represents. You schedule a client visit if possible, with all key accounts.

Option two: You can offer your top producer the opportunity to work virtual to separate her from your team.

Option three: You could meet with her and outline changes that need to be implemented immediately, understanding that she may quit.

My big biller Beth actually demanded equity or threatened to resign. When I accepted her resignation on the spot my team panicked, especially the recruiters who provided her with candidates for her orders. Interestingly  enough, we generated more business from 100% of her clients and didn’t miss a beat.

What you can’t afford to do is leave things the way they are because this situation will result in turnover and will stall the growth of your business.

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

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