Successful sales professionals make selling look easy. What makes it look easy are often the unseen, well-honed set of guiding processes that support that person, including delegation. The smartest working professionals have learned they can focus their best efforts and spend their time most productively working in their areas of strength-if they delegate as many functions as possible which they are not the best at, to others. This includes tasks in both their daily business and personal lives.
Delegation is initially difficult for those who feel the need for control, don’t like the risk of being let down by someone not doing a task well enough to suite them, or don’t think they have time to delegate. Savvy sales professionals know they can’t afford to not delegate.
Take time to make a solid delegation plan with clear parameters to find out-quickly-just how strong your sales can become by eliminating tasks that keep you from being your best at selling.
Know what you do best. Tasks or parts of projects you enjoy, processes you thrive on- you should spend most of your time doing these things.
Accept what you don’t do well. Don’t kid yourself; just because you can do something doesn’t mean you are good at it or enjoy it. If you dread a task or process, you likely prevent yourself from working at your highest capacity by wasting premium time doing it. Delegate it and spend more time working at your premium capacity.
Account for your time accurately. Measure the time it takes you to plan, monitor, complete, and re-do tasks you don’t do well. On a checklist log in when you first recognize a task needs to be done; log in when you start it and when it’s finished. Was all this valuable time well spent by you?
Recognize the cost of procrastination. Most people delay what they are not good at or what they don’t like doing. It costs you: 1) delaying the completion of a task, 2) frustrating you and other people who may be waiting for you to complete it.
Define your expectations clearly. State the specific requirements of a task in writing (who, what, where, how, when) to help you manage the task upfront with the person who will be doing it. This gives guidance to them as they complete the task and gives you both the evaluation process you’ll need when determining if the job was done well.
Seek others who are the best at what they do. Everyone has strengths just like you; find them; tap into their strengths to delegate to and you’ll be happier and more productive.
Give timely, clear feedback. Particularly the first few times someone completes a task for you, make time to evaluate it soon after receiving it, don’t just accept the work. You are setting standards for their work (training them); it should be done right the first time.
Develop strong relationships. Communicate clearly upfront, be available-welcoming and responsive-to questions the other person has for you as they work on your work. Don’t hold them up too long or they will guess at what you want and disappoint you both. Be patient; do your best to understand their questions so you can offer them insight on exactly what you want done.
Move away from unhelpful relationships without haste. Be methodical in identifying work partners to delegate to, and cultivate the relationship. But if it does not work, move on; you’ll both be happier and you’ll be more productive.
Continue to look for more delegation opportunities. Once you’re comfortable with the process you’ll want to rely on it more.
Try it. Find two tasks you dislike doing or continue to procrastinate doing. Delegate them out using the above checklist. Then compare your results. Were you more productive working in your strengths? Were you able to focus on selling more effectively? Did the task get done sooner than if you had kept in on your ‘to-do’ list? You will most likely be thrilled at finding taking time to delegate allowed you to work to your capacity will allow you to grow your sales faster and stronger. Get started today.
Cheryl Kane, MBA, is a strategic business consultant, sales trainer, and professional speaker specializing in service quality. If you seek assistance in growing your business, need a business speaker, or have a question you would like to see answered in this column, Cheryl welcomes your communication at (704) 595-7188 or through her web site, www.cherylkane.net.