Sometime ago I worked with a business owned by “Ann” and “Peter.” The key presenting issue was the effectiveness of their sales staff. Most of the selling was done by calling cold or very cool contacts. One of the results of our work together was creating a script format for cold calling. The script was designed by understanding and using information from the most successful salespeople. My idea was to take the information from the most successful sales people and teach the other salespeople to follow the same model. By using this model, less successful sales people increased their results. I suggested that if a person wanted to deviate from it in the future, they should design a trial with 100 to 300 calls to see if it resulted in numbers that were better, worse or about the same. Only validated feedback should alter the call scripts.
In a follow-up meeting with Peter I learned that some salespeople were not following the model. I asked him whether these individuals produced above or below average results. In each case the results were disappointing. Peter asked me what he should do. My response was pretty simple, “Tell them to follow the script or this is their last day on the job.” Peter thought that was “a bit harsh.” My perspective was that it wasn’t harsh; it was reality. If sales people were able to produce above average results; then, the new tactics should be incorporated into a new and improved sales script. However, in this case the results were below average. I suspected that the issue was that salespeople simply did not want to follow the new method.
According to Peter, “Some people indicated they tried it, and it didn’t work.” I asked how many calls they made today using the script. My guess was very few. I feared they just decided to ditch the new system.
The Lord was very clear with Moses about building the Tabernacle and its components. He was talking about the lampstands when He told Moses, “See that you make them according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” (Exodus 25:40, NIV) Clearly Moses was to execute the plan exactly as instructed. As managers we have a responsibility to insist that our employees follow the best practices.
Change is not easy. Many people have a tendency to retreat to the familiar. Just as Moses had no option but to follow God’s commands exactly, we need to insist that our employees follow systems and procedures completely. I showed Peter that if lower level performers achieved average results with the sales scripts, his business would increase by $75,000 dollars a month, a significant number. I asked Peter if he could afford this loss; the answer was no.
In your business when you implement new methods make sure your staff follows them so that your business can grow.
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