Category Archives: Productivity

A great attitude, the odd pork pie and still ‘NO’ x 95

Many people have seen diagrams of business management systems. They are useful guides and goals in planning any business, but sometimes, like a map, they are not enough. Sometimes you need more information in order to have a happy, uncomplicated and productive journey. Like the analogy of the weakest link in the chain, all parts of the business model are important.

I used to be involved in performance assessments for companies who wanted to improve their sales. Part of this was to explain my role as a diagnostic consultant by supplying reports and suggestions after observing and speaking to those involved about how they performed and what they thought their job involved. My reports about individuals and groups within the organisation made proactive suggestions for improvement, but noticed something odd and it happened all too often.

The directors of the companies invariably had little ‘buy in’ to the suggestions and although my follow up service was available to them they did not seem to believe in themselves, or their staff very much – why?

They didn’t really care as long as a certain level of productivity was reached because a lot of them did not want to actually speak to their employees! Were they hiding in their office waiting to be told the whip had been cracked? Did they not think they were part of the same team?

In one company, apart from satisfying some training quota for them, from what I could see and hear they didn’t view the many of people working for them as very important. Each of their employed sales people may as well have had a number on their forehead. It’s true, most bosses simply wanted to plug their staff in and get results. Those who didn’t perform well would be fired eventually. To be fair, the bottom line is true of any business, but if those in the decision making seat are not fully understanding the resources (people potential) available to them, they are missing the point and the profits.

If you have a sales team ask yourself this: When was the last time one of my staff ASKED to receive extra sales training? Then take a look at performance and ask why they haven’t asked you. Are you approachable enough? When was the last time you offered and gave mentoring, or received it yourself? How about coaching?

The status issue of a job plays a big part in the assessment of both employers and employees. A person who sweeps a factory floor won’t be consulted for ideas on the business, but if they didn’t do their job and no one else could or would, the place would be a world of crud in no time.

So what jobs have status? Being the boss! Yes, but being an ineffective or negative boss? No. Being a telesales? …Be honest, mostly no. Being a brilliant telesales making loads of money, in fact so much the boss practically kisses your feet? Much better! However, unless the outside world knows how wonderful you are as a telesales, they won’t care and can’t tell you are successful, unless you actively wave bling at them, including the house and car.

Low status jobs keep the world turning! Call them an account manager with a bit of education = instant promotion.

Picture this: A business sells goods and services, it also has lovely offices and presentable office staff with very attractive receptionists and personal assistants. It has nice décor with real plants and great coffee. Sounds nice. What else does it need? It needs to SELL what it does to keep being able to have all the nice stuff. So why does it treat telesales staff like they don’t matter unless they are making a mint?

Without telesales and customer service staff a lot of companies would die. Not everything can be done on a website or through search engine optimisation.
Believe it.

Do you believe it’s easy for anyone to cold call someone into buying anything?
Anyone can pick up a ‘phone, right?

Wrong. Some people feel blind terror about doing a sales call, because to them it’s like public speaking, but instead of doing it once and going home, they have to do it one hundred times a day. By the way, if your outbound sales team members aren’t doing one hundred outbound calls a day every day, without getting some decent results, you have issues to address.

Do you believe it’s easy to be told ‘No’ ninety five percent of the time, all day, every day?

Aha! You may be thinking only losers get told ‘No’. What about that 5%, which could be more in reality?

As a company what would you say if you had 5% of every days outbound calls resulting in business? What would this mean for you, even using the lowest value service or product? Multiply this by the number of telesales and the weeks of the year. It could be a little or a lot, but it adds up to something valuable.

Example: Low value sale @ $1000.00 x 6 staff x 5 days equals $1.5m+

Holding on to those people is worth it. Improving their performance, even by one percent is worth it – you can rent some very nice office plants for $15,000!

Even people who don’t see the job they are doing as their ‘dream’ occupation can still perform better than most, if they have suitable goals, support and motivation. The turn over of telesales people is massive. All the interviews to hire them, all the advertising, all the training, all the paper work, over and over and over again. You’d think someone would try to keep the good ones. What did people tell me?

They had hired people without sticking power, they were unmotivated, lazy, expendable. What, all of them? Methinks there are porky pies afoot!

The people in the US call pay compensation. This is a confusing term in todays’ society, when most English speaking people only seek compensation for an injury! This ‘compensation’ mentality is a strange revelation of language as most GO! GO! GO! sales training seems to come from the US. Compensation sounds linked to, “I’m going in… Cover me!”

Have you ever thought this at work, or in another situation?

Are you in business to create a limited wealth stream, or is there something more you want? What is it?

What are your priorities for the business you do?
What are your priorities for your place within the business?

Once you reach the golden number of dollars, what comes next, apart from a house, car or holiday?

Sometimes I wonder whether some firms avoid paying for their employees to be coached, just in case they leave. It’s a possibility, but normally they stay long enough to make a positive difference. They use their new perspective to the firms benefit, not just their own. If, after coaching, they do leave, apart from it being inconvenient, the upside is that through consistent coaching and mentoring you get to keep the good ones who will add value to your business. Everything changes, mostly for the good, if you give it a helping hand.