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Today I’m addressing a topic about which I have been passionate for many years. I want to share some important key elements I’ve learned in my 8+ years of experience concerning training and activating sub-agent teams or anyone new to the industry.
- Select the right person. Probably as much as 75% of your success rate will depend on this. Learn the art of interviewing. Get a resume; check some references; do the leg work necessary to find the right person. A further very effective method of finding the right person is to require training and verify the training has been completed. After an initial interview, you can now refer a possible candidate or sub-agent to the eight white labeled training courses I’ve just added on instantquotetool.com. “White label” indicates the courses are general information about the industry for anyone’s use; I don’t mention my name, any compensation information, or any specifics. These courses are absolutely free for anyone who signs up for the FREE 30 day trial. I recommend you choose a few of the basic information courses such as “Understanding Merchant Services,” “How to Sell Merchant Services,” “How to Read a Statement 101,” etc. as a requirement for completion before a second interview and official hire. This method is a win, win situation – no one spends any money; you and the potential candidate find out whether this type of career opportunity is a good fit; you’ll have a much more informed conversation on the second interview; the candidate has some good training if he or she decides to launch into our industry; and there is more training available on the 30 day trial period before your new hire goes into the field. Of course, if the potential candidate decides after listening to the initial courses that the industry is not a good personal career choice, there is no obligation on instantquotetool.com; he or she may cancel any time before the 30 days expire. We are constantly in the process of developing more helpful content on the instant quote tool. In two to three weeks we plan to roll out the “Team Wizard” to help you build your team. The Team Wizard will offer notifications to you when you refer someone to instantquotetool.com with an email address. You’ll receive such notifications as which training has been completed and over-all numbers about prospects.
- Offer extensive up–front training. Most successful businesses which are good at minimizing turn-over have the same secret to success. Much time and money is invested up front on new people joining the company. The more you invest in a person, the more valuable that person will feel, and the more legitimate your opportunity will be. I encourage you to hire “in bulk.” Never bring on just one sub-agent but about three or four. One reason for this is that the opportunity will seem more exciting when there are several people and will allow you to leverage your time. You might do an entire day of training with that group of new hires. You will have already required them to complete the courses on instantquotetool.com. Now you’ll be ready to focus on training them concerning specifics of your own business. The second reason for bulk hiring is turn over. If the position is an independent sales position and straight commission (which is usually the case in our industry), you’re going to have some turn over. Even if you lose one or more of the new hires, your time investment is still worthwhile because you will have at least one good sales rep. However, hiring only one person negates your entire day spent for training if you lose that one and have to start over. Invest the time for up-front training but don’t expect them to remember everything you’ve taught! Although they may forget much of the teaching, you will give them a good confidence level to get in the field and get started.
Make sure your reps learn the nitty gritty details. The reps need to understand the paperwork and sales process inside and out. Lack of knowledge of details will prevent the new reps from confidently approaching prospects. This is the way I like to complete training: “Everyone close your eyes and imagine you’re in your car. You just pulled up to the first prospect who is either a lead or cold call. Or perhaps you’re doing phone calls and are about to call your first customer. How are you feeling right now about this? Are you scared or unprepared? What specifically is causing you to feel that way?” You may be surprised at the response. Perhaps you forgot to give them business cards. Someone may wonder what to say when he or she walks in. Training may have included opening pitch, but that doesn’t address what to say when walking into the business. The knowledge of such details is vital to overcoming fear.
- Accountability to action steps. No matter how excited sub-agents might be, you are fighting the clock. In many cases sub-agents are running out of money and/or have other job opportunities. If the sub-agents don’t make some money or at least have some positive experience quickly, they will take a job with more stable income. The short term cash flow concerns will trump the long term opportunity. Holding the sub-agent accountable will combat this problem. You must have a CRM or some comparable system to manage prospects. Yes, we DO have a CRM on the instant quote tool, but there are many other great programs available for this. The key ingredient here is to give sub-agents specific action steps to take which are within their control. For instance, rather than saying, “Go make a sale today,” you could require sub-agents to create ten new prospects today in the CRM. Tell them you aren’t concerned yet with the response from those prospects, just that you can see the prospects were entered into the CRM. You could even have them write the prospects on paper if you don’t have CRM available. But this is a specific action step for the sub-agents to take. Although sub-agents may be excited about the long term, they will probably delay making initial contacts unless they know they are accountable to someone.
- Provide consistent coaching which is proactive rather than reactive. In my opinion, this is the most important element. If you want successful sub-agents, then YOU must spend an enormous amount of time with them. They want you to spend time with them. Please understand that all the time and expense you’ve already put into up-front training and initial supplies will be wasted if you’re not willing to simultaneously provide ongoing proactive coaching. That’s a necessity for every single new, green agent to any industry to ensure success.
If you haven’t already done so, please go to instantquotetool.com and click on the FREE 30 day trial. Remember, the FREE trial does include eight training courses at no charge while you’re in the trial period. I just rolled out a new course entitled “Advanced Statement Analysis” which is also included. The courses are all white labeled. In these courses I go through all the interchange tables to teach how interchange works, using several real life statements. You don’t want to miss this resource. You’ll get all the courses free just for enrolling in the FREE 30 day trial; we are that confident you will love it!
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