There was a time when managers were reluctant to allow their team members to work from home. Many believed the option was simply an excuse for employees to goof off, away from the structure and accountability of working in an office.
Working from home is becoming an attractive option for many people who have long commutes or find that they can concentrate better without the distractions of being in an office. If you are a manager who hasn’t considered the work-from-home option for your agents or advisors yet, it might be time to consider the many benefits.
There's nothing like a conference or seminar to motivate everyone and ignite our imagination. We come away with new ideas and new ways of looking at our industry and our role within it. We all like to think we will get back to the office invigorated and ready to tackle our tasks with a set of fresh eyes and enthusiasm, and business will grow and thrive because of what we have learned at the event.
As a follow-up to my blog “Become a Master Communicator: The Importance of Body Language” I thought I’d share a personal note of what one of my friends and mentors taught me long ago.
Insurance great, Tom Wolff taught me a simple but very effective way to remember the key points from my previous blog, Tom's Q, triple L, double R (QLLLRR) formula.
Training would be much more effective if we could remember all the new information we are exposed to.
According to Psychology Today, there is really no such thing as “photographic memory,” although some people can recall info
rmation vividly and in great detail. The phenomenon that comes closest is “eidetic memory,” which shows up in about 2 to 10 percent of children, but virtually no adults. “Eidetikers” can hold onto an image for about half a minute to several minutes after it is gone. If you give them 30 seconds to look at a picture, even after you whisk it away, they can describe it with unusual accuracy and detail.
If you are a top-performing associate, chances are, your manager is likely to approach you about going into management at some point. This happens often, and when it does, it requires a deep soul search to figure out whether to consider it or not.
Plenty of producers have left their clientele and practices behind to give management a try, only to discover that they weren’t happy in a management role. Many associates accept the invitation into management because they want to please their managers. Others do so because they aren’t sure where their true passion lies.
If you are leading 1099 associates — those who are not employees of your company paid on W-2’s — be aware of the U.S. Department of Labor’s guidelines on how to differentiate between employees and contract labor. Because rules and laws vary from state to state and from one company to another, we cannot provide detailed information or advice. It is important that you work with your company or get state-appropriate legal advice to make sure you are not crossing any of the existing boundaries that could get you in trouble.
You’ve probably heard these common complaints about training from your mid-tier and top-tier associates:
- “You offer training only to new hires and neglect those of us who are more experienced.”
- “You offer the same training to all associates at every level of the career.”
- “You force training on us that we can’t relate to and don’t find valuable.”
It’s all too common for sales organizations to invest in training their salespeople but not their sales leaders. This approach isn’t just counterproductive; it is costly.
In 2018, Vantage Point Performance conducted a study of 213 companies with more than 25,000 sales managers and discovered just how senseless this approach is:
- Only 25 percent of sales managers know what they are doing.
- A sales manager’s skill level directly impacts a company’s revenue.
- Poorly performing sales managers can cost a company a remarkable $3.5 million per manager.
- There is a specific set of skills that successful sales managers need.
Your top producer is such a superstar that it makes sense to promote him or her into management, right?
Remember the classic “Peter Principle”? It was Laurence J. Peter’s management concept that in any kind of hierarchy, people tend to rise to their “level of incompetence.” In other words, as people are promoted, they tend to become progressively less effective because good performance in one job does not guarantee similar performance in another.