After my last article on "Listening." I was asked for the 10 questions on my Daily Management Test. I hung them up on my car's dashboard in laminated fashion. They were 10 questions to give myself a quick critique on my day's performance. As I drove home, I mentally would play back the day's events and challenge myself with the following test.
As you drive home after work, ask yourself
1. Did I recognize someone today? How about a "Kudo's" Card?
2. Did I make an impact today? What did I go to increase business?
3. Did I provide a blast of energy, excitement and electricity today?
4. Did I listen today? (Write down what I learned.)
5. Are my reps focused?
6. Is each member of my team meeting or exceeding my expectations?
7. Did I instruct or motivate someone to do his/her best today?
8. How many contacts did I have with my customers today? (None gets you a failing grade.)
9. Did I lead by example today? What specifically did I do?
10. Decide what one thing I'll do tomorrow to make my team better than they were today.
Here are some reasons I asked myself those questions every night.
1. 25% of good people leave organizations every year because we failed to recognize or reward them. It's hard enough to get good people in media sales. It's a shame to lose good people and there is no excuse for it. Sometimes the simplest forms of recognition, like a "kudos" card, can give that rep an added boost and let them know that you appreciate their hard work.
2. When you impact business, you set the example for everyone else to follow. Being a general manager or a sales manager gives you a title and really nothing more. Yet, you can use that title to get in doors where some of your reps can't go. Use it!
3. When I would walk the sales area, I always would make sure I complemented someone on what they were doing. Sales departments are direct reflections of their managers. If you are lazy and lethargic; so are they. But if you are excited and run around with a mission, then they will take that energy and focus into what they are doing.
4. See last Sean Luce article on listening.
5. You can tell by the way they work and their desire to hit their sales goals. Are they in the office all day? Your one-on-one meetings every week should give you some indication of whether they are focused or not. In today's world, we sometimes need to be more than a manager or a leader. If you have 10 reps on your team, inevitably two or three of them are having personal problems. Having a psychology degree would come in handy, but that doesn't mean you have to baby-sit. The acid test is, do they know what your goals are for the sales department?
6. First of all, do they know what your expectations of them are? In a lot of cases, our reps don't know. Have you told them what you expect from them? It is simply to hit their sales goals? Or is it more than that? And if it is, what is it? Do they know what the discipline is for non-performance? How long will you allow them to miss their budgets? One month, two, three, six? Expectations are more than just monetary goals-in my book.
7. Every day is an opportunity to teach and motivate someone on your staff. Going out in the field to coach my sales reps always has been the best opportunity for me to go one-on-one which is the best forum to teach and coach. It's just you and the rep in the car, experiencing the call together. If leading by example is one of your tenants for success, then riding with them lets you know you practice what you preach. One-on-one meetings are great and sales meetings are good forums to teach. Coaching a rep in the field is better than 10 sales meetings.
8. If you as a sales manager are not contacting your customers, then what are you doing? Customer contact is vital. If gives you a pulse of what your people are faced with on the streets. It will also tell you what is important to customers. Bottom line, if you're not making the calls as a manager (and this doesn't mean you have to carry a list, then your salespeople will not be as motivated to make more than the minimum number of calls to get by. Show them, lead them and have them do as you do!
9. Some general managers and sales managers do have a list or handle national business for their media property. This is a great opportunity to lead by example by getting the highest rates for your company, not the lowest. Somewhere it was taught that managers could cut deals that they would not let their people cut. Remember, if you cut your prices, your reps will follow.
10. Some people take the bus depending on the market size. Regardless, when you are going home, ask this question and you'll come up with one thing. Overnight, your subconscious has a tendency to work on this one thought so that the first thing you will be committed to doing the next day? Exactly what you thought about during your drive home. I love to drive. Some of my best systems and ideas came from time behind the steering wheel. Focus on that dominating thought and your team will be better because of it.
Sean Luce is the Head National Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.