By John Borrowman, CPC
Borrowman Baker, LLC, BV Staffing + Consulting
The more successful you get, the easier it is to forget what you once didn’t know. It’s human nature. You’ve known what you’ve known for so long that it’s almost impossible to remember not knowing it. That can trip you up, unfortunately, when it comes to getting the best from your staff.
Are you modeling what you want in their growth, especially when it comes to business development?
You might feel like saying “I figured it out. Why can’t they?” And to the extent that your success is based on your individual style and approach, yes, you “figured it out.” Somewhere along the way, though, you learned by layering your individual approach over the models that you watched. If you’re not overtly being a model for your staff, you could be missing a smart retention and revenue growth tactic.
You can get surprising results when you make a more conscious effort to include a staffer on a sales call. The bigger the picture your staffer can see, the quicker she begins to grasp the entirety of the engagement. And the further along in the process she can manage the project.
Even if you don’t capture the business, the call offers an opportunity. Use the drive time to the client to download to your staffer some of your thinking going into the meeting. What you expect, and why. On the return trip, debrief. If the client wants a proposal, invite your staffer to join you in brainstorming reasons why your practice is the one for the job. If you leave the appointment knowing you already have the work, start a discussion about the best approach.
If the thought of taking your staffer on a sales call tends to lose the battle to the drive for chargeable hours, try adopting “get the work done” as your mantra. Be clear with your staffer about this shift. Point out that in exchange for the sales call exposure, you’re expecting more efficiency.
Few things can make a bigger impact in retention than this kind of growth opportunity. On the flip side, you may still find that your staffer just isn’t getting it. If so, you should keep that in mind when an opportunity to reshuffle comes along.
Business valuation is in the family of consulting services. As a rule, you don’t get to the top without being able to sell. The quicker you expose your staff to the concept of a seller/doer, the bigger the favor you’re doing for yourself.