In my book I regale readers with the story of Frank, a banker who was one of TWO bankers during the debauchery that led up to the housing crisis that had their heads out of their asses.
Frank recommended instead of going after real estate deals (which at the time were now completely falling apart and leading to losses to the bank already) we go after more commercial operating lines, things like lines of credit, equipment loans and so forth - anything that wasn't MORE condo deals. Because of this Frank's volume was lower than the other bankers, but his profits were more than all the other bankers combined, simply because none of his loans were losing money. Frank realized the market for good real estate deals had dried up and there was no point trying to pursue them.
But, because Frank didn't have the volume (even though he was making more profit for the bank than anybody else) management fired him because he wasn't bringing in the deals.
A similar story is unfolding with a female friend of mine. She works at a (to keep her anonymity) "store" where she is a salesperson and sells "stuff" that happens to be of the more luxurious sort. No more than a month ago management sat her down to talk to her about her slagging sales volume. They implied she wasn't working hard enough and not making her sales. She tried to explain to them that the economy had soured and because the stuff they sold was more of a luxury item, demand had dropped. She also pointed out that all the other salespeople had experienced a drop in sales.
"Didn't matter." The reason still remained; my female friend was not working hard enough and would have to try harder.
Ergo, I ask the question of management teams across America out there; do you realize that when there's a recession, especially one that hits an industry particularly harsh, that your sales are going to drop, despite the best efforts of your salespeople? That the problem isn't your staff or salespeople, but the economy? That you and your little company sit within this environment called "the economy" and you are not inoculated from it?
The only reason I ask is because, despite the sarcastic tone of the question for even a 3rd grader would know the answer, I'm amazed to this day to see full grown adults in management, whose bonuses are tied to sales, to keep flogging a horse that is dead and expect some kind of result. Do you PHB's ever take the time to stop and think about why sales are lagging? And instead of just barking ineffective orders at your staff that wont' result in increased sales, maybe sitting down and coming up with a new strategy?
The fact that management only knows one option (push the employees harder) shows just how incompetent these people are. If you are in management, presumably you might have a couple more tricks up your sleeve aside from "work harder." If you are in management, you are presumably smart enough to know that the company is affect by a variable of things, and not just the effort your salespeople put forth. If you are in management and an adult, then shouldn't you at least be mature or professional enough to realize doing the same thing again, but stronger, is not only pointless, but a waste of time and it is YOUR JOB to lead and come up with a different strategy that WILL improve sales?
Alas, this is why people like Frank should have been promoted to management and management be sent out into the firing range. Frank had an idea to diversify beyond real estate (and two years later his strategy would have paid off). My female friend suggested a less luxurious product line. I've always suggested if you have good sales people, you put them on furlough or pay them some basic sustenance salary like $15,000 a year and health care and not have them come back until the economy picks back up. You'd not only save money, but you'd earn the loyalty of your salespeople.
Of course I have a full head of hair, neither side of which is getting pointy. So what do I know?