One of the common themes I hear when talking to sales people is the desire to take their business to the next level. A sales professional who is good at sales will want to maximize that skill. In order to do that, you must learn to delegate! You’ll need to delegate such things as paperwork, scheduling, cold calling, tech support, installations, etc. However, I hear these types of comments from sales people regarding attempts at delegating jobs: “I tried that, but it was just dragging me down.” “I wasn’t able to get as many sales; it was such a pain.” Allow me to explain some core concepts regarding delegation which you must understand if you want to grow your business to the next level.

Delegation is not JUST an investment of money but a HUGE investment of time. When you delegate a job, your life will get much worse and less productive for probably a month or more. If you hired somebody today to do your scheduling, don’t think that tomorrow you will be much more productive because of that delegation! In reality, you’ll spend several hours for days showing the new hire how to do your scheduling. After several days of training, he/she will actually do your schedule for the first time. It will probably be a total disaster, a complete mess. Then you patiently follow-up, explain mistakes, and show the right way to do the schedule. The next day may be more of the same; that is the reality of delegation. To grow your business, you must be willing to make a few sacrifices.

Here is the cool thing. After three or four weeks of this mess and lower productivity, you will have processes and procedures in place which allow this person to do your schedule much more efficiently and effectively. More importantly, he/she will know how you think and be motivated by the confidence of your training and involvement.

Two VERY important aspects of delegation: First, you must be extremely patient! Second, you must be willing to communicate, communicate, communicate! Contact your employees every day. Delegation is not an instance of wiping your hands while saying, “That’s done.” Unless you interact with your employees often they will assume you are unhappy with their performance but don’t want to confront them. They will also assume their job is unimportant to you.

You can’t delegate a job you aren’t willing to do yourself. For example, I’ve heard sales people say, “I really want to hire sub agents because I’m just tired of being out in the field.” When you hire sub agents, you will be out in the field all the time! Sub agents need to watch you for at least a week while you sell six hours a day, otherwise you won’t have very good sub agents. Whatever you are trying to do, you must be willing to do yourself. That is the way you delegate a job. You walk a new hire through the job over and over and over. Then you take a Camtasia screen shot video of yourself doing it. THEN you delegate the job. THEN you help the new hire with the job over and over and over. Delegation is a very long and tedious process, but the end result is greatly increased productivity. If you can gain even an hour of your day back, you can put that hour into just selling because you’ve delegated other jobs.

Two challenges for you:

1. Think about something you should delegate and, thus, free yourself to do more selling. Delegate a job which is a weakness for you (however, not because you aren’t willing to do it yourself.) Delegate so that you have more time to focus on the areas in which you excel. Use or find somebody local whom you trust. Find someone who can spend two or three hours a day working for you, then practice spending plenty of time delegating.

2. My second challenge to you is read a great book. An absolute must read for someone planning to grow your organization and delegate is The Twenty-One Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell.

My name is James Shepherd. Thanks for reading.

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