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Don’t Be the Gallbladder on Your Sales Team

According to, the gallbladder is "a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. The gallbladder holds a digestive fluid called bile that's released into your small intestine."

If you have gallstones, which can be debilitatingly painful, one of the treatment options is surgery to remove the gallbladder, known as a cholecystectomy. Once the gallbladder is removed, bile flows directly from your liver, where it was produced, into your small intestine.

"You don't need your gallbladder to live, and gallbladder removal doesn't affect your ability to digest food," according to the Mayo Clinic website.

Why the anatomy lesson? It turns out, there are quite a few gallbladder-types on sales teams. These are folks that are taking up a slot—covering a territory or a channel—they’re plugging along, doing their job… barely.

We know these people. We’ve worked alongside them and are possibly working with one now. Perhaps we’ve managed them and tried, unsuccessfully, to find out what motivates them. We’ve coached them and attempted to help improve their sales process, increase their effectiveness or simply lit a fire to trigger more hustle.

If you're a sales leader and have someone on your team that isn't (or hasn't been) pulling their weight for the past year or more—someone that’s constantly offering excuses as to why they're unsuccessful while others on the team are engaging with prospects, competing for mandates and winning business; or worse, someone that's causing pain, whether to other teammates or to leadership—it's likely time to make a change.

If you’re the 'gallbladder' in this story, beware. Some firms are actively discussing opportunities to upgrade their sales teams while others are contemplating cutting costs, and if you haven’t been producing (before the current health crisis, of course) you've made the decision to let you go a lot easier.

Chances are, you're self-aware and know your situation. It's essential to demonstrate improvement and we sincerely hope you have enough time to change others' impressions of your value and contribution to the team. Otherwise, you’ll be removed/replaced and will have to explain why you’re out looking for a job while your teammates kept theirs. Then we’ll see just how good a salesperson you really are!

About Seitz Partners

Seitz Partners is a retained executive search firm dedicated to serving clients in the asset and wealth management industries. We deliver unparalleled access to talent and unrivaled market insight to our clients. For more information, please contact:

Christopher Seitz, Managing Partner

© 2020 Seitz Partners. All Rights Reserved.

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