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Down, Not Out

Your reps not selling like they used to? Don't worry-they can be rehabilitated.

By Kimberly L. McCall

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While quick to stomp them when down, we Americans areexceedingly forgiving when fallen sports, political andentertainment heroes show signs of recovering their former glory.With a soft spot for philanderers, drug addicts and the generallymisdirected, we cheer when the fallen rebound-think Marv Albert (afine sportscaster who looks good in hose), Bill Clinton (hate himor love him, the man just keeps coming back) and Julia Roberts(remember Mary Reilly and Everyone Says I Love You?).You may find solace in these comeback tales, especially when thesalesperson you hired to make rain is in the midst of a seriousdrought.

Consider the career trajectory of "Steve" (not hisreal name), a salesperson who, after 20 years of stellarperformance in the printing business, hit rough waters at GreatLakes Cos. in Cleveland. With a national clientele, the $45 millionprinting company was diversifying by adding three new companies andseveral specialties, including database management, pre-press anddigital management services. While the new product lines were amust, the supporting technologies proved onerous for Steve. Unableto answer customers' questions, the printing veteran wasproducing frightful sales stats.

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