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How to Delegate Effectively in 3 Simple Steps so You Can Make More Sales
Many sales professionals are overwhelmed with paperwork and administrative work but if they knew how to delegate effectively they could make more sales.
My last few posts have been focused on the sales partner that is serious about starting a merchant services business. Delegation is the key that unlocks the door to greater productivity but only if you approach it correctly. Many sales partners hire their first part time person only to find themselves getting less done. Today, let’s talk about how to delegate effectively. Here are my top three tips to help any sales partner delegate those tasks that are keeping them from making more sales.
#1 – Don’t delegate a problem. If you delegate a problem, it will turn into a nightmare. Certainly, once you reach a certain level in your career, you will have people working for you that are problem solvers but in this post I am talking primarily about front line employees and contractors. If you try to delegate a problem to someone at this level you will be sorry.
You should be focused on delegating systems and procedures. This is why it is crucial early on that you do every task yourself first and force yourself to follow a process. Always do your sales paperwork the same way and then use a screen shot video software to record the process. Once you have this video and a written process, delegate it to someone else. Basically, you need to solve the problem, create a system that includes step by step instructions and then delegate. Record yourself on some customer service phone calls, document how large of a refund you will offer to save an account, etc. These are all steps to future delegation and greater productivity.
#2 – Find the right person, not the right talent. Again, we are talking about front line workers in this post and what I have found is this. The right person will be able to figure out how to do just about anything as long as you give them the tools and knowledge necessary. Don’t worry about what existing skills someone has, focus more on their willingness to learn and the odds that they will like the work. If you have a cousin who has spent his entire working life outside on a construction crew, I wouldn’t be worried about this person learning how to make customer service phone calls, my only concern, would be if they would go crazy sitting in an office all day. Evaluate their personality, their likes and dislikes and see if this is a position they would enjoy. Some people want to work for you and that’s nice but if you are the only thing they enjoy about the job, it will get old fast.
#3 – Create a system of accountability. Many people I know, have started delegating and found the thrill and freedom from this process. They solve problems themselves, create a great process and then delegate effectively to a motivated, passionate person. Then, a few months later, everything is falling apart, they are stressed and they can’t figure out what happened. People who work for you will respect what you inspect. They will judge how important a task is, based on how much accountability exists and how often you check up on the work.
When you are dealing with front line employees like sub-agents, administrative staff and customer service personnel, you need to give them the consistent feedback, training and guidance that they need, expect and actually want from a boss. One of the best ways to do this, is to create shared reports. I used to use google docs to create shared spreadsheets to track our internal processes. Then, you can set up a calendar reminder to check the report daily or weekly depending on the task. Have a scheduled phone call or in person meeting with your team of employees daily and weekly when your team is small. The daily meeting should be no more than 10 minutes and just have each person talk about their priorities for the day. The weekly meeting is where you cover bigger topics and do training and coaching. If people know they will have access to you during these times, they will be much less likely to interrupt your day. Train them to make a list for the next weekly meeting and bring up these topics on that meeting.
My closing thought is to have fun, be honest and don’t trap people into a job they don’t like. If you have a member of your team that you can’t be honest with or that is miserable every day they come to work, encourage them to find another job where they will enjoy their work. My first hire was my sister in law who still works with us, now on Melody Campbell’s team, handling all of our new agent paperwork. I told her from day one that if she ever felt the job was too much for her or for any reason she didn’t want to do the job to just let me know and there would be no hard feelings at all. This attitude is a must when working with family but it is a good rule of thumb for any employee. If your business becomes a trap, it will start to feel like a prison for everyone on the team including you.
I hope these short tips will help you delegate more effectively and start thinking about building a local team of your own!
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