Mergers. Turnover. Layoffs. These dreaded words are whispered all-too-often among colleagues behind closed doors and after hours. Rumors and sometimes unspoken fears leave many employees lying sleepless at night, wondering what their fate is within their corporate environment. Now more than ever, job security concerns are at an all-time high as many businesses have shut down and others have laid-off crucial team members due to the ever-changing economy. However, this is not just a COVID-19 crisis. Acquisitions, employee replacement, and even drastic leadership changes have always been constant in corporate America. Many employees fear impending change and how it will alter their future—a future which includes a company they’ve worked with to build their career. The emotional loss that occurs between the separation of long-time employees and an organization leads to feelings of abandonment and mistrust in future endeavors. However, this discontent doesn’t end with the employee-business relationship. What about individuals and companies on the opposite side of this change? For sales representatives, how does the loss translate to customers that account executives have taken under their wing and fostered long-term relationships? We’ll tell you how—It downright stinks.
In service industries, indeed, most clients don’t spend time hunting for the perfect sales rep that they will consider a friend. Generally, they seek out reputable companies based on reviews and success. But guess where many of those reviews stem from? They come from the efforts and relationships that account representatives have poured their hearts and souls into and translate into camaraderie, brand-loyalty, and confidence. So, when an agent disappears from the face of their world, where does that leave the client? Usually confused, discontent, and very, very worried about what is to come. This is why new sales representatives will never be able to fill the shoes of previous agents. And if they are granted the luxury of maintaining the previous relationship, the customer will likely spend some of that time shopping new agencies because they feel that the partnership with the company has been irretrievably broken.
For clients that have spent years working with the same agent, they get to know them on a personal level knowing the names of their spouses, children, grandchildren, and maybe even their dog. So, if the agent were to leave at any point, their departure is heartbreaking. While they may stay connected through social media and check-in on the family, it’s more about the damage they have done to the business.
The corporate leaders who enforce these layoffs have their reasoning behind the cuts. It may be because of headcount limits induced by a merger. Or, a layoff that closely examines the salary dollars instead of the relationships that support bottom-line revenue, assuming that a lower-wage and less-experienced agent can save them money.
At the end of the day, companies that choose to work with large agencies are taking the risk of familiarizing themselves with one agent just-in-time to start the shuffling match. Ask these companies how exhausting the process is. Chances are, they have become guarded and less transparent about their business.
The good news? There is a better alternative: working with long-standing, independently owned and operated agencies, located in tight-knit communities, and equipped with employees that have withstood the test of time. This is the breath of fresh air our economy needs to stimulate growth. While sometimes change is good, new employees can often bring a fresh new vision to your organization. However, it shouldn’t come as a sacrifice to those that have paved the way. Do your research and ask yourself who you want to support your business. Do you want to wonder who will walk through your doors at any given time, or do you want a dedicated agent that you can reliably count on that is in it for the long haul? Where is your sales rep?
Interested in learning about contingency-only collections with ART? Give us a call today! 423-586-7613