“Wow! That’s less than half price? That’s a very good deal. Especially in this economy. I’ll take 4 packets. Yes, I love biscuits that much,” the shopper confesses to the saleslady (merchandiser) at the supermarket. Taken in by his enthusiasm and innocence, and yet internally conflicted she whispers to the shopper, “Are you OK with the expiry date?” Turns out the biscuits expire in 10 days! The deal isn’t one-it’s a clearance of stock about to go bad. It’s a business cutting its losses, hiding behind caveat emptor– buyer beware. And if that’s you, are your employees sabotaging your sales?.

How to deal with a sabotaging employee

How? The shopper is infuriated and disgusted; he feels hoodwinked. And in that moment of anger, flashes out his phone, his camera flashes and soon anyone with access to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and WhatsApp reads this post: “Don’t be fooled. This is theft; conmanship. These biscuits expire next week. Avoid Con Supermarket. They don’t care for your health and safety” And just like that you lose more than just that sale; you lose all other potential sales of that product and any other recipients of the post that may have planned to buy from you. Your reputation is also at risk.

As a report by McKinsey & Company report reveals, “Employees are not hugely motivated by their employer’s reasons for change. Employees (like buyers) are more moved by what the change means to them. And value to the employee is in contrast to value to the employer and, according to McKinsey & Company, could go beyond the organization to say the customer, or community. This is why, To transform their organizations CEOs must sell

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Your laxity can cause your employees to sabotage your sales

“What the headmistress used to do was accept payment of school fees in cash and not remit the funds. Some parents would agree because it would be at half price and they would never ask for a receipt. Now we have lost ten per cent, that’s twenty-three of them, across Classes 1 through 5 because we told them they have been learning illegally and must pay back fees officially, in full.” This was a report by the external auditor of a church based school that had been hit by a massive fraud, only revealed when a potential parent (customer) went to the administration office to ask why she was required to pay fees in cash. Sensing her jig was up, the headmistress had jumped ship.

Read: How companies sabotage their sales efforts

your employees sabotaging your sales

“Admittedly, there was a laxity in the monitoring systems, given the school’s structures. For example, a random audit of the class register, headcount class by class and count of number of meals made, could have revealed, if not discouraged the theft from happening. As such, these are our recommendations to avoid such future occurrences…” There is a clear line between trust and laxity. Laxity can lend itself to your employees sabotaging your sales.

Read: Your business could be losing you sales. A customer explains how

Employees sabotaging your sales from limited knowledge

Try this. Go to 3 branches of the same bank, or any other institution really, and ask the same question about a particular product or service. For instance, “I see you are a pay point for KPLC. Do you charge when I pay my bill through you? Do not be surprised when one of the three or five or seven tells you no, another tells you ‘Yes but I’m not sure how much’, and a third tells you, ‘Let me find out’ and a fourth a confident, “Yes, 60 shillings.” It is truly amazing the disparity in product knowledge that employees in the same institution, especially a large one, can have. And this disparity leads to losses in sales.

Either by a customer that loses money over being misinformed and leaves in a huff; or potential customer that goes to the competition because he was told that you don’t offer the service, he really wanted from you as waned to keep all his accounts with you. Now you know why some organizations hold random product knowledge sessions complete with tests with expected pass mark for their employees. You can never train enough.  Even if product knowledge alone is not enough to clinch you that sale

Are your employees sabotaging your sales?

Besides conflicting values, porous systems and limited product knowledge, other ways employees sabotage your sales could be ignoring leads from your general email (usually info@), and the usual suspects of staff giving a poor customer experience, exploiting the customer’s inexperience, having a debilitating attitude and a demoralizing compensation structure.  

Read also: To increase sales empower your customer facing staff


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