Working on a new proposal for an Insurance Broker General Agency (BGA).
We believe that companies can generate exactly what they ask for, but only if they learn to ask for it in a clear and compelling way – and then advertise it repeatedly. We are not talking about posting vision statements on the wall, although this is certainly not a bad idea. It is much broader and deeper than this. What we are talking about is creating the crystal clear picture of what “perfect performance” looks like and then detailing very specific, tailored behaviors that will deliver that perfect performance.
We then need to bombard the team with this vision and what we expect from them through a sustained communication campaign so team members can learn and choose to adopt these higher performance behaviors.
Vision and Compelling Expectations are Ultra-Important
The importance of developing a strong vision and advertising compelling expectations cannot be overstated. You will be much more effective when you help members of your team develop a strong vision of what success looks and feels like. Vision is not as complicated as many experts make it out to be. It is simply a compelling description of the ultimate destination a team (or individual) is trying to reach.
It is a clear explanation of what the destination looks like and feels like and what the reward is for all the effort it will take to get there. The vision does not lay out how the group (or individual) will achieve this goal, but it does create an excitement-generating snapshot of what it will look like.
If we do not communicate high-performance expectations then we are less likely to inspire huge leaps in performance. Why? Because the team you are leading are not mind-readers. They do not know what you expect of them until you communicate it. When expectations are carefully prepared, presented and repeated, your efforts will more quickly shape behavior that will lead to positive results. When you do a great job at raising high-performance vision and expectations awareness, you generate results quicker and more efficiently.
Expectations Need to be Repeated . . . Over. . . and Over . . . and . . .
The high expectations we promote to the teams we lead need to be creatively communicated over and over, every day. It is not unreasonable to expect that you would bring these expectations up dozens of times in an average day. Expectations are repeated day after day until every team member sees the expectations as their own and can repeat the expectations verbatim.
You will have repeated these expectations so many times in sales meetings, performance development meetings, and on the floor that they will become literally “burned into” the memory of every team member. We are not satisfied that the team has “heard it before” because familiarity does not breed mastery. We will be satisfied only when our team has attained a deeper understanding and acceptance level that comes from repetition, repetition, and even more repetition! In nearly all organizations this type of communication is simply not happening frequently enough.
Nine Specific Behaviors To Communicate Compelling Expectations
- Start every day with a quick meeting with all direct reports to review the performance from yesterday and the goals for today
- When you arrive at the call center, walk the floor and greet with a smile every person you pass and genuinely thanks them in advance for helping hit the daily goals
- Conduct short (10-15 minutes) meetings with 10 associates to share your goals and expectations. This meeting shares recent results, but more importantly communicates what needs to happen on every call, in very specific detail
- Observe two of your direct reports every day giving associates feedback
- Visit a team meeting every day and have a 2-minute presentation ready on what your specific expectations are for the day
- Everyday have a new “Best Calls on CD” available for listening. Make sure that every associate listens to at least three excellent calls each week.
- Have a weekly event that recognizes the top 3 calls of the week
- Everyday listen to 3 randomly taped calls with the associates in the room who made the calls. Give positive feedback and specific suggestions on how to improve the calls.
- For the poor calls create a specific action plan for the associate. Then randomly sample their calls again the following week (and the following week if necessary) until the associate calls sound excellent.
These behaviors will generate more consistent communication of your compelling expectations because:
- The meetings will remind associates and direct reports every day of your expectations
- We will build a CD catalog of excellent calls so your team knows what excellence sounds like on the phones
- Top performers will be recognized for call excellence
- Poorer performers will be given specific action plans to fulfill in an effort to improve their performance on the phones
After you’ve asked your discovery questions and have uncovered a lot of information, you want to do something that will create some positive buying momentum before offering your tailored solution. And I have just the right thing. It’s called the Discovery Summary.
The Discovery Summary is all that; it really is. Our research shows that many sales are actually made right here. When the summary is done well it accomplishes all these things:
- The buyer feels good because he knows that you were really paying attention and listening to what he told you.
- You build momentum by distilling what has just taken upwards of 60 minutes into a powerful 2-minute highlight reel.
- You ensure that your understanding of your buyer’s situation is crystal clear and on target. If, for some reason, you did not summarize the situation accurately, your buyer will correct you.
- You get to show your buyer that you are a highly competent professional who understands and cares about their situation.
- You lower your buyer’s resistance and raise their receptivity to your tailored solution.
- And sometimes it uncovers a nugget that defines the buying gap.
Not bad for a simple summary that takes less than 120 seconds to deliver. But, like everything else with Bullet Selling, it’s all in the execution. There are 6 steps to the Discovery Summary process: Continue reading “Create Positive Buying Momentum with a Discovery Summary”