If you ask salespeople about areas where they think their leaders could improve, the two most common responses would be 1. Stop micromanaging me, and 2. Give me more support.
Support is an interesting one. Salespeople have difficulty defining what they mean by support. All they seem to know is that they want more of it.
Here are some points to consider:
- Should a leader micromanage at all?
- If so, when should the leader micromanage?
- Should a leader take a more hands-off approach and trust the salesperson to do the right actions?
- What support should a leader give?
During presentations of Pittard’s five-day Agency Profit System, a real estate agency management and business system, we break down the stages of Training & Coaching and discuss these very issues.
There is a place for micromanagement and a place for a more hands-off approach. The art is knowing which salespeople to micromanage, and which salespeople should have a more hands-off approach. It’s a fine line.
There are two types of salespeople who should be micromanaged:
- Rookie salespeople
- Salespeople in a slump.
Both need micromanagement until performance reaches what we call Professional Level – the point where they produce, or are back on track to produce, $300,000 in gross fees in one year.
Micromanagement takes the form of goal setting, planning, actions and results accountability, one-on-one coaching, and actions monitoring.
Leaders work with rookies and slumping salespeople and put them on the path to peak performance. If this is not done, rookies will fail, and slumping salespeople will remain mediocre.
This is a loss to the individual and to the agency.
Mentorship and Support
Once a rookie achieves Professional Level, or the slumping salesperson is back on track, micromanagement gives way to mentorship and support. This is when leadership becomes more hands-off, although the leader continues to give support and advice when required.
In these levels of Training & Coaching, the greatest gift a leader can give a salesperson is time.
The level of mentorship and support each salesperson requires will vary, but in all cases, you only discover when to mentor, and what support to give, by spending time with your people and asking this one question:
“How can I help you?”
It’s a great question, isn’t it?
The higher the level of performance a salespeople is, the less mentoring they may require, but the support they need might be greater because they are so busy. Give them time and how you can help will become clear.
You might offer an assistant, or perhaps the services of a listings prospector for a week, perhaps marketing in a specified area, or you might call some of the salesperson’s vendors. Although salespeople may not be able to define support, when you ask how you can help, you help them to clarify the support they need.
There may be a fine line between micromanagement and the hands-off approach, but if you keep in mind that rookies and slumping salespeople need micromanagement, and everyone else on the team require mentorship and support, the line is a little easier to see.
Remember that salespeople at all levels require your time. This is how you create loyalty in team members.
You cannot buy loyalty; you must earn it.