On a trip to Singapore, I met an agency leader who told me about the state of his business. He said that he had 1,000 salespeople (not a misprint!) who turned over $30 million with a 1 percent profit.
I said, “Let me get this straight: you turned over $30 million last year and made $300,000 profit – is that right?” He answered, “If that.”
So I visited some of the open inspections to gauge for myself the quality of these salespeople. What I witnessed were order takers who followed me around with business cards – I could discern no selling ability.
The Singapore market is a classic case of throwing people at a problem that actually requires skill. A phenomenal few – twelve – skilled salespeople, working in shifts, could outperform the 1,000 people currently delivering only $300,000 profit to this company.
Scale things down a bit and you can see similarities between Singapore, and New Zealand and Australia.
In New Zealand, teams of 60 or more are still quite common. I once worked with an office that had two salespeople while its major competitor had sixty. The two salespeople were listing and selling as many properties as their competitors, despite the competitor having 58 more salespeople.
In Australia, team sizes are not as large, although occasionally you do come across ‘super teams’. They are called super teams because of their size, and not their quality. But I ask you, when it comes to teams, which is more important: SIZE OR QUALITY?
As in Singapore, in Australia and New Zealand leaders complain that it’s hard to find good people.
I put it to you that finding good people is NOT THE PROBLEM. Most agency leaders have found good people; they just failedto develop them into good salespeople.
Do not focus on team size. Focus on team quality.
Finding good people is just a start. Once you have them, it is the leader’s job to develop these people and help them grow into great salespeople.
It all begins with standards – standards set by the leader:
- Leaders must set minimum standards for action and performance.
- Train everybody, dismiss those who cannot or will not reach the required standard – everybody onstage at the last Australasian Real Estate Awards attended every Pittard training session conducted in their areas. There is a clue there.
- Keep hiring and replace those who leave or are dismissed.
- Keep doing these things until you have built a team, all of whom are winners.
Standards must be set first
Never think that you will begin setting standards once you have good people. Set your standards and bring everybody on your team up to those standards. Everybody on the team must be first class in attitude, knowledge, skill and action. Those who won’t meet the standards must go.
Think about the Phenomenal Few and what a small team of winners could do for your business.
In the military, Special Forces have squads of six, not sixty. The military understands the principle of The Phenomenal Few.
Would you rather have a squad of crack commandos, or a team of rabble with pitch forks? Go for quality!