Lara Mulawka

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How to confront a coworker that steals your sale

If you are in sales, you know that leads are the most important thing in the world. If you’ve quoted a customer for a sale, and another salesperson takes that lead and sells it from under you, you’re going to get upset. There are several steps to take if a coworker steals your sale.

  1. Keep calm if someone steals your sale

    The calmer you are, the more credible you’ll be. Yelling, ranting or whining never helps. Always conduct yourself in a professional manner. Remember, people are much more receptive to a cool, collected person opposed to a person who is angry. Set the tone for the conversation you are about to have.

  2. Know your office’s policy when it comes to sales and split sales

    You haven’t got a leg to stand on if you don’t know the policy clearly. For example, many businesses agree that if someone quotes the lead and it’s sold, that person should get the credit. However, some places allow for split sales, where the two people who touched the lead each get 50% of the credit.

  3. Approach the coworker who took your sale

    Talk with the person who took your sale first and ask them what happened. It could be that they didn’t realize you had already quoted the lead. The salesperson may have no argument with you and might apologize and understand your point of view.

  4. Approach your manager

    If your attempt to resolve the issue with the person who sold your lead cannot be resolved, approach your manager or business owner and calmly explain the situation. Show them proof, like the quote and the date on the quote. Be agreeable to discuss the lead with the other salesperson. More than likely, it won’t be the first time a manager or owner must deal with a “sales stealer.” There is probably a sales compensation plan to make sure the correct person gets credit for the sale.

  5. Suggest a sales compensation plan

    If you follow these steps and discover there is no plan in motion, suggest one. Depending on the type of business, you might suggest a “Split Sale” policy. This works in businesses that have around-the-clock hours and one salesperson can’t possibly be there 24 hours a day. If you’re an 8-5 worker, you might want to suggest a “First Touch” policy. This means that the first person who touches (calls, text messages, emails) the lead gets it.

  6. Find a different job

    If there is no organization or lead flow, and you keep getting money taken from your pocket by a “sales stealer” it could be time to find another job. Remember, if you’re in sales and you are good at selling, there are plenty of places that offer cut and dry rules for leads and sales.

Before you agree to any sales position, be sure to ask how leads are dispersed and what policies are for lead ownership and split sales. This knowledge is essential, especially if you work on a commission basis.

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