How long should a salesperson stay in a role? It’s an issue which can vex the best of us. I remember blogging about this very thing over three years ago. Whether sales rep, manager or overall boss, one commonplace argument is that three years is ideal. The first year you’re busy changing everything that’s gone before (for the better I trust), the second year you show stellar progress, and the third you consolidate. After that, the theory goes, it’s time to move on.
Reading about what commentators make of the dire public finances with which the new UK Government have been saddled, I came across the concept of “kitchen-sinking“. Attributed to financial observers two decades past (although you can’t help but smile at the alternate battle-of-sexes etymology), it seems to mean you tell all and sundry the full unadulterated horrors of the situation, blame everything on the previous occupants of your post and vigorously use your honeymoon period to act like a crazed axe-wielding maniac to ring whatever changes are needed.
Juicy phrases evoking images of ‘skeletons in the cupboard’ and ‘being handed a hospital pass’ from your predecessor can clearly get you a long way, but, and it is a big but, you must remember that your performance will be judged in the self-same terms. Sounds like the new Chancellor is creating his own yardsticks, so it might be possible to create your own, hopefully more favourable scorecard too.
I feel this approach does though have merit. Imagine you’re a new account manager. Your new patch has several ‘under-performing’ accounts. What is their to lose from meeting with them face-to-face and get all the dirty washing out upfront? The grimier the better, obviously, not forgetting to tell everyone back at base. Then work to become the hero who truly cleans up.