Is Your Staff Sabotaging You?

by Tim Francis on January 10, 2012

Maybe you have employees.  Maybe you have outsourced help such as Virtual Assistants or freelance help from a site like http://www.Elance.com or http://www.Vworker.com.  Pretty much all businesses get help from somewhere.

When I say “sabotaging” I’m not talking about internal theft.  Although there is certainly lots of that – in gross ways such as stealing inventory and office supplies, and in subtle ways such as taking personal phone calls while you’re paying them to be doing productive work for you.

While I could talk about those forms of theft, I’m talking about a far more subtle – and insidious – form of sabotaging.

It’s what Dan Kennedy calls “not following the Program”.

Every time that an employee is too lazy to answer the phone correctly, and therefore doesn’t attempt to get the prospect into your database for long-term nurturing, your employee hasn’t “followed the Program.”

Every time a prospect walks into your store and gets turned off because your employee has a dirty uniform pulled from yesterday’s laundry, your employee hasn’t “followed the Program”.

Every time a salesman decides to start the weekend 30 mins early instead of following up with a new lead within the designated 48 hours, your employee hasn’t “followed the Program”.

….and not only are you pissing away these missed sales, but you’re also burning up valuable marketing dollars you’ve already spent.

Already spent…?  Yes, you heard me right.  Every person that contacts your business has a dollar sign on their head, and this is what I mean….

(1) First of all, I want to point out that every business spends money on marketing. My clients pay my team and I thousands of dollars in consulting fees, in project fees for websites, writing sales letters and other copy, Infusionsoft strategy and setup, Google Adwords management, graphic design fees, and many other services.

In fact, most businesses spend more than they think. Even if you’re just starting as a one-man show and your marketing budget is $0.  Just take the annual revenue you draw from the business, divide by hours you put into the business, and that’s the wage ($/hr) you’re paying yourself anytime you’re working on your biz.  So – guess what – every hour of time you put into marketing your business, multiplied by this hourly rate, is a part of your marketing budget.

(2) Secondly, your business has a certain number of inquiries / leads / traffic that come through as a result of the marketing you’ve done.  Whether that’s visitors to your website, foot traffic through your retail location, or calls you got from leads.

So let’s take your marketing budget (1), divide it by the number of leads you’ve generated (2), and there you have it – your cost per lead.

Now you can see that every single person that calls, emails, visits, etc, really does represent a dollar-value of expense.  You really have PAID to get them to your business.

And herein lies the question: you’ve paid to these leads to show up… what are your staff doing with them?!?

Here’s the kicker: the blame doesn’t actually fall on your staff.  As usual, this falls on your shoulders (isn’t is great being the boss?) because you either: a) didn’t clearly tell your staff what “The Program” was in the first place; b) haven’t been enforcing what you have told them… punishable by termination if they disrespect it.

If you find yourself guilty of not having and/or enforcing “The Program”, it’s okay to feel a little sheepish.  In fact you can join the 99% herd of business owners that don’t have or enforce a real “Program” either.

Here’s the good news though: if you *do* get your people onto a Program – using the best sales scripts and processes, providing customer service in the best way you’ve discovered, even packing boxes and making deliveries in the best way you’ve ever discovered, you get to enjoy multiple payoffs the other 99% is oblivious to:

  1. you aren’t pissing away lead generation money anymore
  2. you are converting leads to sales
  3. because “best practices” are being shared across all employees via The Program, your whole force is closing more deals
  4. more sales to more happy customers – both byproducts of a Program that distributes best practices – means you will generate more repeat business, referrals, and upsells per sale made

So *this* is what you’re missing out on if you don’t have and enforce a Program of your own.  Maybe it’s worth sketching out a rough calculation to see what your missing out on in these 4 areas…?

In closing, it’s said that human beings typically don’t change until the pain, discomfort, effort of changing is overcome by the pain of not changing.  Exercise 3x/week is an annoyance until you have a heart attack and realize that 3x/week is no big deal compared to a lifetime of being dead.

How much are you and your staff sabotaging yourselves by you not creating and enforcing a Program?  Could it be the difference between you taking that long-deserved trip you’ve always dreamed of…. or not?

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