The biggest myth out there is that “top producers are born, not made.”
And it’s not even remotely true!
So today I’m going to share with you the top 3 things to transform your business into a top-producer-building-machine!
1. Create and Keep High Standards
The most basic (yet most important) answer to how to build high producers… is to start with high standards.
It’s not exactly the sexiest answer but something magical happens when someone walks in the office on their first day and sees that everybody makes 100 calls per day.
Not only do they assume “this is just how it’s done here”, they adopt the unconscious belief system that says “to be here, with this team, I must make 100 calls per day.”
And that might sound oversimplified but as big Tony would say…
“Our lives are a direct reflection of the expectations of our peer group.”
Basically if we think our peers think we should be doing something regularly… we’ll do that thing regularly. If we don’t think they think that… we won’t.
Plain English: if we’re under the impression that everyone around us expects us to behave a certain way… we’ll end up behaving that way!
So anytime you start a new business, a new team, a new project — your first step is to set high standards.
Let me give an example from my martial arts school back in the day.
If you brought your 4-year old to me to train in my “Little Dragons” program, and I told you everything I was going to make them do — you’d call me insane!
How many 4-year-olds do you know can do 50 push-ups, 50 sit-ups, 50 jumping jacks, run, and then practice 3 different punching techniques, 2 different kicking techniques, 3 different blocking techniques, children’s self defense moves, AND play a game at the end of all that as a bonus for staying super focused on the tasks?
My answer? All of them!
Why? It wasn’t because I’m such a great teacher (although I’d like to think so)… it was because of all of the said and unsaid standards that we created in that environment.
We just did it, made it fun, joked around — and even if it was uncomfortable the first time (everything usually is), it set the standard for every other class they ever attended.
… and surprise, surprise… almost every kid that trained with me won the “presidential fitness award” in school.
People were shocked! They were amazed! This was an extraordinary feat!
… to us, it was just a normal Tuesday.
So how can you apply this to your business? How can you create a team of top producers like this?
Decide what your standards are going to be from the beginning… but more importantly STICK TO THEM.
As a leader, if we want to keep things at a high level, we need to have the discipline to not let those standards slip.
Just because it’s the holiday season doesn’t mean we should stop trying… just because the market shifts doesn’t mean we should lower our standards… just because new competition comes into town, doesn’t me we should quit!
But day in and day out I run into team leaders, sales managers, and business owners who have just let the standards slip (I’m guilty, too, don’t worry) — but the real challenge is if you let them slip for even a SHORT time… it’s damn hard to get them back.
The best bet is to start strong and end strong.
2. Consistent, Quality Training
The truth is, top producers are made. And they are made through consistent, high-quality training.
Training is an integral part of any high performing sports team, military unit, or even entertainers… why anyone would think it’s not important in a business is beyond me!
My personal standard for training is simple: every. freaking. day.
Your standard might be different. You might be a couple times a week or even once a week but in my experience if you’re doing less than once a week… I can pretty much guarantee you don’t have many high performers on your team.
Sure, there are a million excuses. “We don’t have the time” or “my people have too much training as it is” — and just to nip those in the bud, you always have time if your committed, and, you’re right, they probably have way too much bad training.
What we all need is the cutting edge, “what’s working now” -type training that makes an immediate impact.
The highest performing teams bring in experts in their subjects or hire them in-house. They provide top-notch sales, communications, and leadership training to the right individuals.
Once they have this training, they drill it until it’s second nature… and then they drill it some more!
Top producers know they can never get TOO good at handling objections. They can never get TOO good at leading a team. They can never get TOO good at marketing, sales, communications, networking, or anything else that’s important to moving the needle in their business.
Imagine the typical sales office that has a once-per-week sales meeting where they don’t actually role-play or practice their skills — they have donuts, coffee, and talk about any “issues” they might have…
… and 99 out of 100 offices I walk into have this type of weekly meeting!
Now imagine a room of Navy Seals having donuts and coffee instead of taking their guns to the range. Imagine the Golden State Warriors sitting around a table bitching about the color of their website instead of being on the court making free-throws…
It’s a RIDICULOUS thought, right?
But for some reason most sales managers have this idea that “well, some will, some won’t, so what.”
And THAT belief is the thing that prevents a team performing at their best.
Yes, it’s tough.
Yes, it’s time consuming.
Yes, it’s tedious.
Yes, you probably have to do it before or after prime-selling or business hours.
But if you want a team of top producers? There’s no getting around it.
Find the best training you can get… and do it consistently.
3. Tracking What’s Important
There’s an old phrase “what gets tracked, gets managed.”
The only way you know something is working is if you track it.
The only way you know what to fix is if you track it.
The only way you’re ever going to have a top producing team… is if you track it.
Numbers don’t just tell a lot… they tell the whole story.
If John commits to making 100 calls per day… I think it would be a smart idea to ask him “how many calls did you make today, John?”
If he says 10… you know there’s a challenge. If you dig deeper, you might find out there’s a challenge with the number of leads he has, a challenge with the technology, a challenge with the phone system, or maybe it’s simply he didn’t do the work!
Here’s my point:
You would never know what the challenge is if you didn’t track it.
Let’s say John makes 100 calls in the day but doesn’t book any appointments.
Now you know John is doing the activity but maybe he has an ineffective strategy in getting a hold of people. Maybe he has trouble with his script. Maybe he’s being just downright rude on the phone?
Let me make my point again:
You would never know what the challenge is if you didn’t track it.
Let’s say John makes a bunch of calls, books a bunch of appointments, yet there just aren’t any sales for all his efforts.
Now you know he might have a challenge with the sales presentation. He might have trouble closing. He might be struggling describing the products, finding the customers needs/wants, or maybe he isn’t following up.
YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW WHAT THE CHALLENGE IS IF YOU DIDN’T TRACK IT!
Okay… I know I’m being obnoxious.
But here’s the deal:
If something is important to you. If you are spending a lot of time, money, and energy on a new project, a sales division, or maybe even just your own health and fitness — you must track it.
How many calls did you get? How many appointments were booked? How many people signed up? How many people bought? How many of those turned into referrals? How many of those referrals turned into deals? What are we doing for customer service? How many times are we following up?
If you don’t know what numbers are important to your business… and you aren’t tracking them…
… you’re eventually going to be in a LOT of trouble — or at the very least, you’ll be doomed to a life and a business of mediocrity.
So set some higher standards, provide your team with high quality (and consistent) training, and track their activities and results!
Sometimes I meet team leaders who are scared to put their people through this level of training and tracking.
All that is — is fear.
Fear you’ll be judged, fear it won’t be good enough, fear you’ll try all this stuff and it still won’t work, fear that they’ll leave and go elsewhere, fear of looking stupid, fear they’ll turn against you…
There’s a million fears… but if you’re going to be a leader, it’s time to take your fear and turn it into power.
Question of the day:
What kind of “crazy” things have you seen high performing teams do? Did they stay really late at the office? Get there early? Did the spend their lunch break training in the office? What were the supposedly out-of-the-ordinary standards you saw a leader inspire their people to do?