Are there reps on your sales team that are toxic or annoying?

When you were a high performing seller you figured out how to avoid the likes of negative, toxic and annoying people.instead of head

You either ignored them, didn’t feed into their stuff, or hung out with the positive contributors like yourself.

Yet as the sales manager, you can’t ignore them – although you might want to!  They aren’t going away easily and they are causing you and your team a problem.

Recently, I heard the term “Hurricane Employee’ – because the damage this type of employee causes extends far beyond themselves.

Will Felps, a professor at Rotterdam School of Management, found a single negative employee can cause a 30-40 percent drop in a team’s overall performance in his study.

What damage can they do?

  • Drop in morale throughout the team
  • Other reps feel apprehensive, angry and/or dejected
  • Productivity drops from reps concentrating on how to avoid the employee
  • Sales managers lose respect, credibility and authority from their team

You certainly don’t want any of that to happen.  Meeting sales budgets is hard enough without these added complications.

So what do you do?

First – Eat the frog.

Have you seen Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog video?  Brian says, do the most difficult thing first – eat the frog – and everything else the rest of the day will go better.

So, DO NOT ignore it.  It isn’t going away.  These may be the difficult conversations that you as a boss run from.  It’s time to eat the frog or the hurricane employee will only get worse.

What’s the conversation look like?  It isn’t you telling the person they need to change.  What do you do when someone tells you to change?  You don’t! 


  1. Determine the root of the negativity.  State what you notice, ask about it.
  2. Clarify the company and/or team’s vision.
  3. Discuss how they fit into the vision.
  4. Collaborate on changes, next steps.  Include deadlines.
  5. Conclude with commitments, and set up the next review/coaching meeting.

This may sound easier said then done, so take your time and prepare for the coaching conversation.

DO NOT WING IT.  They will win- not you.

Now go out and eat your frog and avoid the hurricane season.


Alice Kemper, sales training expert and founder of Sales Training Werks mobilizes sales reps to crush their monthly quota. Check out the 6 Killer Hacks to Perfect Sales Training.