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How do we Grow and Develop Our Staff?

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

As a professional development expert, I get asked all the time how do I know how to help my staff? Well good news, it doesn’t have to be so hard. The Devine Inventory provides an Employee Lifecycle set of products that turn Managing and Leading your people into a Science vs an Art Form. Good news!

As you are looking for B+/A Players during your recruiting efforts, Devine has pre-hire reports that evaluate a person’s behaviors. These behaviors are grouped into competencies and specific competencies are required for a position. Devine literally has hundreds of these reports already created so you don’t have to recreate the wheel. These pre-hire reports will provide a 1-99 score on how they match the job competencies and then simplify the interview process by providing behavioral interview questions for each job competency. Interviewing simplified!

When you want to “develop” your staff, Devine has a product that removes any 1-99 rating and instead focuses on how the person’s behaviors perform against the ideal for each position and how they match up vs the job competencies. The report provides specific information on how to use your strengths and how to develop lower behaviors. As the manager, it is comforting to know that Devine has already thought of how to uniquely “coach” each person according to their own development needs. This Devine “coach” report dramatically improves your coaching time with your staff. No report or evaluation is perfect.

After helping more than 11,000 people interpret and understand their own Devine Report, I can confidently say these reports make hiring, growing, developing and retaining staff much more predictable. “Thank you” social psychology for making my job as a professional development expert more predictable and successful.

Focusing on your Best Customers

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

Not all customers are created equally. You have probably heard of Pareto’s Law or the 80/20 rule. In sales, 80% of your revenues will come from 20% of your customers. Companies need to analyze these 20% customers to understand the demographics and psychographics of these “sweet spot” clients and then identify prospective companies that look similar.

Demographic markers can include the number of employees, number of offices, revenue per year, and their location relative to your company.

Psychographic markers may include a willingness to use external experts.

Once you have identified these important prospect characteristics, you need to create your prospect list by utilizing LinkedIn, Industry directories, or purchasing a list from Info Canada or Zoom. Now that you have created your “ideal client prospect list”, you need to start prospecting.

Gaining new clients but losing existing clients out the back door is frustrating. With your 20% clients identified, make sure you are servicing them exceptionally and maintaining contact with them regularly. Depending on your product or service, you may be meeting with your most important clients quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Ensure you ask them how you are performing in their eyes, what has changed in their business, discuss what is new in your business or other products or services they are not utilizing then develop an action plan for your next steps.

Happy clients are a great source of referrals as long as you ask them. Start to work “smart” and not just hard at keeping your most important clients and acquiring new ones that look just like them. Happy Prospecting!

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BWA members movin’ full steam to Lean.

BWA Lean Road Map Training Event packed the room with manufacturers eager to learn.

On January 24th, 2019 the BWA hosted it’s Lean Road Map Training Event at Kitchener’s premier business hub EDC’s Export Growth Hub at Catalyst 137. 

It was as recent as last December the BWA held it’s Lean Training to a packed room of manufacturers. And by popular demand, the event was brought back to train an even deeper reach of manufacturers staff in all areas of their business. Lean thinking focuses on driving down waste in all areas of manufacturing; the seen waste and the unseen waste cannot hide with Lean implementation.

Throughout the event, Lean Trainers Brad Cairnes (Center of Lean Learning) and Sepp Gmeiner (Lignum Consulting), showcased to their audience an interactive presentation on the fundamentals of lean and provided examples of how it benefits their businesses. Brad Cairnes also brought video footage of top performing wood manufacturing facilities showcasing the power of lean thinking.

“This is awesome, bad @ss, whatever you want to call it!” – Staff Member introduced to Lean.

What areas of your business have you not yet considered that have waste? What areas could you tap into to drive down waste? What do you consider waste? Be ready for the next Lean Training announcements to not miss the next opportunity. Stay up to date by subscribing to our mailing list.

BWA members during the full day Lean Road Map Training Event held at EDC’s Export Growth Hub – Catalyst 137, Kitchener.

For those who want to continue the learning experience and focus deeper on their shops, the BWA has worked with Brad, Lynn & Sepp to facilitate such a request. Many companies are moving forward with the next steps of the BWA Lean Program.

To learn more about the BWA Lean Program and more details about this event, please contact Ryan Tabone at Email: [email protected]

Communicate the Way They Want It

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training

As a kid growing up, I constantly heard on Sunday to “treat others the way I wanted to be treated”. In Canada, this can get some people into very hot water. I happen to be a part of the 8% of Canadians that want brief, bullet point conversations about the big picture only. Whether you are a Business Leader, Manager, Employee or Sales Person, developing and maintaining successful relationships in business and life is crucial.

I have a secret…cheat! You can learn about the four-model communication and decision-making theory called D.I.S.C. Successful business people are lifelong learners. The most important project is yourself. D.I.S.C. will allow you to better understand yourself and how other people see you.

People are a combination of two or three different styles and one is normally your primary style. Extroverts are either a Dominant or Influencer style who like to talk, are big picture and quite impatient. Introverts are either a Steady Relator or Compliant style who like to listen, are very detailed and patient. Emotional and relationship people are either the Influencer or Steady Relator style. Task and fact/strategic people are either the Compliant or Dominant style.

Common combinations of D.I.S.C. styles include a D, I or D,C or I,D or I,S or S, I or S,C or C,S or C,D. The letter that comes first represents somebody’s primary style. In Canada, the D.I.S.C. population breaks down this way – 8% of Canadians are primary Dominant, 37% of Canadians are primary Influencer, 32% of Canadians are primary Steady Relator and 23% of Canadians are primary Compliant.

Learning about D.I.S.C. will allow you to identify other people’s primary style and help you understand how they like to communicate. This will allow you to “read the person’s D.I.S.C. style then decide if you need to adjust and adapt” based on your style interacting with their style. No communication and decision-making style is better or worse than others, the key is learning how to “read people” then communicate with them in their preferred manner.

Communication can be simplified once you learn about the social psychology behind D.I.S.C. Happy communicating!

Building Your Competitive Advantage

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

Do you remember when your business was quite young, you had few staff and sales resulted from your own successful efforts? Then success happened, and you slowly and continuously added more staff and today your sales team is working hard but not accomplishing your growth goals. Sound familiar? It is not too late…let’s get started!

Successful companies have a Sales Growth Strategy that the team collectively created and energetically is executing. Knowing who are your best customers helps you to focus your prospecting efforts on more of these great clients. Believing in best practices, you invested in Sandler Sales Training. Together you overlaid the Sandler Selling System to your unique number of interactions with prospects to become clients.

Now your sales team and sales management all understand what a qualified or unqualified opportunity is. Armed with this knowledge, your team spends their time wisely with good prospects and your closing ratios have skyrocketed. Wisely investing time with your great clients has created long-term relationships where loyalty, increased purchases, and frequent referrals are the norm.

When you create this environment, you will beam knowing your happy employees are well compensated for their contributions. There is an energy that is apparent as clients, suppliers, and guests visit your company. Every company is a reflection of its leadership. Let’s get started in building your sales machine. Create your own competitive advantage!

Are B- or C Players Dragging Your Company Down?

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training

As the President or Business owner are you “Too Loyal” to your staff or is your staff “Too Loyal” to you? Ask yourself…are your best employees leaving for better opportunities, are you struggling to accomplish your tasks, projects, and goals on time, do new employees come and shortly leave? If you answered yes to one or more of these questions you are accepting Staff Mediocrity.

Successful and growing companies require B+/A Players to fuel the growth. When you grow and develop your staff into B+/A Players or adopt a B+/A Player recruiting mentality, your business becomes more profitable. Stronger employees are more productive, increasing your revenue per employee number.

For a simple illustration, a $1M company with 10 staff has a revenue per employee of $1,000,000/10=$100,000. If your competitor has a $1M company with 5 staff, then they have a revenue per employee of $200,000. The higher the number, the more productive your staff and your company are.

A good question is “Do you know your revenue per employee number?” and “Are you happy with this number?”. You may be saying to yourself, I owe them “one more chance”. If this is you, then I would strongly suggest you and the employee agree on their job responsibilities in writing, develop key performance indicators that the most important tasks/activities are getting accomplished and hold a weekly or bi-weekly individual meeting with your staff to review the progress of their key performance indicators.

Staff accomplishing their important job activities stay and poorly performing staff need to leave. A company performs according to how the leadership team performs. A company culture is a reflection of its leader. Are you happy with your staff, culture, and profits? If not, maybe this blog has given you the “jolt” you need to take action.

Wondering How to Motivate Your Sales Team?

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

Success in sales is reserved for the motivated people who enjoy representing their company’s products and services. Remember when you were a kid getting up early and bugging your parents to drive you to the ice rink or dance hall? Nobody needed to motivate you. Successful sales people enjoy the thrill of the chase, the hunt of the kill and the long-term relationships that follow.

As Sales Leadership, your job is to discover your sales staff motivations and link them into your company’s goals. Here is a crazy idea, ask them why they enjoy working for you and what motivates them to consistently perform. Encourage them to create a vision board that hangs proudly in their work space. When they exceed their monthly, or quarterly goals, provide a personalized gift from your knowledge of their interests. Invest your time with them practicing for important prospect and client meetings. Sit down with them to evaluate past meetings to learn from both their successes and failures. Show them you care about their success and development.

As a manager or leader, it is your job to help your staff succeed. Keep their skills sharp by investing in the Sandler Selling System. Become the best leader you can through Sandler Management Solutions training. Poor managers can certainly demotivate your sales staff.

Baby Boomers and Generation X managers and leaders complain about how quickly Millennials jump ship. Great managers and leaders invest their time and energy into their staff and are rewarded with year after year of profitably growing sales because Millennials will stay when they know they are supported and cared for.

Skyrocketing to the Stars

By Andrew Wall, Sandler Training Milton

If I interviewed your key employees and asked them to describe your business strategy for profitable growth what would I hear?  Crickets?  Diverse answers?

Profitably growing your company is a team effort.  Successful companies invest the time and energy to create their One Page Strategic Plan then ensure all employees understand the business strategy.  This plan describes:

  • your long term goal, your 3-5 year goal to double your business, your 1 year goal and your 90 day objectives. 
  • your three to five key actions required to double, to achieve your one year goal and your quarterly goal. 
  • the company’s values and reason for being are clearly stated and emotionally engaging. 
  • the company’s unique strengths to leverage are unanimously understood and utilized. 
  • your key people issues and processes to successfully execute your plan.

With this One Page Strategic Plan in place your company’s daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings revolve around the company achieving it’s quarterly goals with improved communication and coordination.

Companies operating this way provide an exciting environment to work and contribute, where individual and group contributions are regularly celebrated.  When you need to hire new staff your terrific employees are regularly introducing you to their B+/A Player friends.  Visitors to your company are noticeably impressed by the energy and buzz in your company.  Wondering if this is possible?  Well it is.  You the President, Owner or Managing Partner…it’s your job to take the first step along this journey.  You and your staff are worth it!

2 Second Lean – A fun and free way to get to know the principals of Lean

Paul Akers offers an entertaining and free chance for you to learn about the principals of Lean in his book 2 Second Lean. Available in ebook and audiobook format! Before you follow the link below do you have a book on Lean Training that you’ve enjoyed? Leave the title and author in the comments below.

Click here to visit Paul Akers’s Website and download 2 Second Lean.