3 Tips That Will Make You Better at Delegating
My son recently brought home a white American Husky to impress his girlfriend. Needless to say, it didn’t impress me. Both my wife and I knew that the responsibility would eventually be assumed by us.
This early morning our dog pee’d on one of our rugs. My first instinct was to clean it up myself as opposed to waking up my 20 year old and instructing him to do it.
“I’ll do it faster.”
“I’ll do it better.”
“In the time it would take him/her to do it, I could have had it done already.”
These were all the valid thoughts that went through my head as I went into his room and yelled at him to wake up. No one likes to be woken up being yelled at. Point taken. I’ll find a better approach. More on that later.
As groggy, tired, and upset as he was, he cleaned it. He didn’t do a good job. He left the dirty rags and cleansers on the floor. He left the wet spot soaking increasing the chances of mildew and damage to the hardwood floors. Bottom line-it was a poor effort, and yet I had to let it him do it or my wife & I would be stuck potty training & cleaning after the puppy for the next 4-6 months.
Wait. He’s not gonna transition his dog peeing into a masterclass on delegating in business is he? Oh yes I am.
I know you’ve said it yourself in the office or at work. So have I. These are all valid reasons easily justified logically. They are also the shackles that prevent us from growing and/or scaling our business. You can’t do it all. Neither can I, and as such it is paramount that we get used to delegating responsibility.
If you are a business owner you will argue that you don’t have the money to hire someone to do delegate tasks to. I’ve made the same argument, and what you will discover is that it will still cost you either in the form of your own personal time invested or in the form of compensating someone else. I firmly believe that using my own time is more expensive that paying someone else.
I want to give you 3 Tips on How to Effectively Delegate
Tip #1 – Make Client Acquisition Your Biggest Priority
Letting go is the first and most challenging part about learning how to delegate, especially when your compensation is based on a closed sale. When you are a professional salesperson every deal counts and it is easy to want to babysit a transaction especially with purchases that have a longer gestation period such as real estate transactions that can last anywhere from 45 days up to a year depending on how complicated the deal is.
Your job is to sell. Your job is to get more deals. Your primary focus should be on customer acquisition and on rain making-not chasing forms. Once a contract has been signed and/or payment has been delivered I want you to operate like an assembly line and delegate the responsibility of customer fulfillment with the appropriate person.
I realize this is easier aid than done depending on the type of sales position you hold, and it is a natural inclination to want to ensure that the sale goes through without any hiccups so as to avoid any cancellations or worse yet, charge backs, but trust me, when you delegate & let go and spend 90% of your time in lead generation & customer acquisition you aren’t dependent on any one sale to survive and this is an exhilarating feeling.
Tip #2 – Let People Make Mistakes
Let me warn you that when you delegate tasks, people will mess up. Especially if they haven’t been trained in your processes or your organization lacks a good on-boarding system. We are all humans and no one is perfect.
It is when a system fails or someone messes up…
that most professional sales people retreat back to the “I do it better…” or “It takes me longer to clean up this mess than if I had done it myself…” mentality.
Herein lies the problem. You have to let people make mistakes. We can review processes all day long, but it isn’t until someone is actually performing their duties that they really learn. The expert in any profession isn’t the one who hasn’t made any mistakes. In fact, it’s quite the contrary, it’s the one who has made the most mistakes.
There will be some angry customers. You will lose sales. You will lose accounts. This is all part of the process of letting people do their jobs. Let your customer know that you are their go-to person and that should anything go wrong, they can call you direct. For a short period, you may be the customer service department as well. I’ve been there. It takes a big person to take responsibility and get yelled at for something you didn’t do, and even worse, don’t get paid to do, but if you don’t let your troops try and fail and try and fail you will be stuck babysitting very deal that comes across your desk and that is no way for a professional salesperson to live.
If someone makes the same error over and over again, that may not be the right person for the job, but I don’t want you chopping off your nose just to spite your face. Let all the other role players in the sales process do their job, while you focus on customer acquisition.
Tip #3 – Inspecting What You Expect
Once you’ve gotten good at delegating, and overcoming the fear of letting people learn from their mistakes, it’s easy to sit back and watch the processes work without feeling the need to go back in and inspect the results-especially as a professional salesperson who quite frankly, only wants to do one thing-SELL. I know because I’ve been there, especially when we are running on full cylinders.
This is where mistakes or poor customer service can happen again. I know I said to spend the majority of your time in customer acquisition, and that still holds true, but I also want you spending at least 10% of your time reviewing the results. Did the product go out on time? Did the client get the bulk discount offered? I’d recommend doing this at least once a week. You’d be surprised by what can slip by you without inspecting the results. It also helps when you reach back out to your customer and/or client and request online reviews.
Comment below if you can relate to some of the items I referenced in the blog. How did you overcome the hurdles that came with delegation? What are some things that you absolutely must delegate?
I look forward to hearing from you.