Rich Grof Business Coach

Finding Good Employees for Your Small Business is a Hassle – Tips from a Top Business Coach

Finding Good Employees for Your Small Business is a Hassle – Tips from a Top Business Coach

Overcoming Small Business Growth Challenges

Some small business owners make the decision, knowingly or unknowingly, to remain a “one-person-show”. If they’re happy with their income and the number of hours they put in, then this might be the right choice for them. But for anyone who wants their business to grow, the reality is they will need to hire more people. The decision to hire additional help is not with out its struggles. I have coached many solo-preneurs and small business owners through this transition and have heard their concerns of, “I have hired numerous people and none of them were any good” or “I can’t afford to hire people to grow my business”, they say. Is it really reasonable to suggest that there are no “good people” out there or that there is no one looking for a part-time opportunity to grow with your company? I don’t think so. Somehow the competition figures it out; from start up companies, established local companies to giant corporations, they all grew by hiring the right people. Growing your business is an achievable goal and is the foundation of a successful business – but how can you do this effectively?

Let me be your business coach for a few minutes and give you a few tips on how to grow your business effectively straight from our business growth coaching program.

The Perfect Employee for Your Small Business

Learning how to find and hire that first perfect employee takes time and commitment but it potentially DOUBLES your workforce. Imagine being able to take a vacation again. Imagine undisrupted evenings with your friends and family. Hiring that first solid employee is the gateway to owning a high performing, saleable business – at the end of the day isn’t that something every small business owner wants?

Steps to Hiring the Perfect Employee

1. What’s your budget? – First you have to have a clear idea of how much you can pay, since that will define the role/position of your new hire. The ‘need’ does not necessarily reflect the reality of ‘who’ you can hire. So maybe you start with someone that can perform many of the basic functions of your business in a part-time capacity. Down the road, when revenue increases, you bring on board the professional you envision who will help you really grow your business. One of the mistakes our small business growth coaching clients make is they look at the wages they pay to their employees as an expense. In real terms the actual money you pay will show up as a financial expense. But if it frees you up to do more of the things that will earn more money for the company, then it needs to be seen as an investment. Never miss the opportunity to hire someone at $20 or $30 per hour for support work if you can get three times that by doing more work with your clients.

2. Create a job description for the position – With the wage range in mind create a job description for the position. In most cases with the first employee, versatility is paramount, but don’t allow that to prevent you from specifically defining the responsibilities of the role. Remember to review each candidate to see how well they responded to change in their last positions.

3. Create the list of requirements for the candidate – Often defining the expectations can be best summarized by describing what you, or another person did in performing this role. When it comes to describing what ‘we’ do the tendency is to underestimate our skills and abilities which leads to the belief that anyone can do it. Be sure to clearly define the skills, experiences and education that would be most beneficial for the position within your company.

4. Post the advertisement – Choose the forum in which to post your job posting. Depending on your geographical location you may want to compare costs and audiences of each medium as well as where you believe your target candidates would be looking. While many online resources may be free they could also be very general and drive lots of unqualified applicants to your door. Quality is definitely better than quantity in this case as it takes time to process the submissions.

5. Screening resumes and interviewing applicants – This may seem like a daunting task especially if the number of applicants is greater than anticipated. The key is to be clear as to what education or experience is really valuable and quickly weed out those applicants that don’t meet the minimum requirements. You may want to bring in a third party during the interview process to help you assess each interviewee’s skills and motives.

Solid Small Business Growth Will Take Time and a Good Plan

Recognizing that the odds of that perfect employee being on the sidelines looking for work at the precise moment you are hiring is unlikely; hiring for your small business will take time but it is worth it. The point is that it will happen when it happens and working harder is not necessarily working smarter in this case. I always tell my small business growth coaching clients that a slow consistent game plan for advertising, screening and interviewing will pay off in the long run. Sometimes we need to slow down our business growth in order to speed up overall.

Rich Grof Sales Training Courses

Have Sales Managers Lost Faith in Sales Training Courses?

Have Sales Managers Lost Faith in Sales Training Courses?

Sales Managers are a very special breed of people. They dream of developing a highly efficient sales team and are driven to help each team member reach their peak performance. They invest themselves in the pursuit of increasing sales performance each and every day. Even though their passion is undeniable, they’re finding it more difficult each and every year to achieve their targets. Why? That’s a great question. It’s one we asked ourselves several years ago. Our research into this problem led us to create one of the sales industries top sales training courses.

Poor Results Plague Old Fashioned Sales Training Courses

The first thing we discovered was that sales managers and corporate management were disappointed in the poor results produced by the “old school sales mentality” of the former top sales trainers and their courses. The training courses rarely had lasting affects over the long term. Instead sales managers would see a bump in sales performance for a several days and then their sales team motivation deflated and everything went back to normal. This ‘pump them up and reset’ effect has been dubbed the ‘leaky ball effect’. If you want to use a ball that leaks, you need to pump it up regularly or it deflates: it seems that’s what has been happening in corporate sales training courses for years. Sales trainers would use motivation techniques to pump up a sales team only to watch them crash when it wears off. Obviously this can be extremely frustrating for sales managers and the V.P of Sales in any corporation.

7 Points to Consider When Picking Your Next Sales Training Course or Seminar

1. Old School Sales Training Techniques Aren’t Enough

Although the fundamental skills of selling have not changed, the application has. The current sales environment is faster paced, buyers are savvier and they have different needs. Sales professionals must have the proper training on how to adapt their skills to these new conditions.

2. Social Media Skills DO Matter

Whether we like it or not, social media is here to stay. It is very important to understand how it affects your industry and what training you need to equip your sales team. From what form of social media you use to communicate with your clients or Buyers to how you use social media to showcase your products or to sell yourself.

3. “New School” Skills Training is Required

Our research has shown that the overall ability of sales peoples is declining. Even the most experienced sales people are struggling with these new conditions in both the market place and with the consumer. Make sure to pick from some of the well rounded top sales training courses and seminars so your whole team will benefit.

4. Motivation is NOT Enough

The old saying of “motivate before you educate” still applies but it’s not enough. This is a problem we’ve been facing over the last number of years; lots of motivational fluff and not enough substance. If you want results long term, you’ll need both!

5. Contests and Other Incentives Have a “Net Zero” Effect

The standard practice of using incentive programs to boost sales have a ‘net zero’ effect when you consider the dip in sales after the contest is over. Boosting compensation or using incentives to push up results temporarily creates a yo-yo affect in sales person motivation and psychology. It’s much more effective if you help build up a sales person’s self confidence in their accomplishments than to continually having to motivate them.

6. Sales Training without an Ongoing Follow-up Coaching Program is Useless

A sales training course without a follow-up coaching program is like going to a fancy restaurant for a fantastic night on the town, having a few appetizers and leaving hungry; it’s just stupid!  Real change only happens over time and you need to have a consistent program that helps sales people learn how to make the new skills work for themselves.

7. Even the Best Sales Managers Need the Latest Resources They Can Get From the Sales Industries Experts

Sales managers are busy managing their sales teams, handling corporate responsibilities, and doing their best to stay current on the latest trends in sales. Having all these responsibilities can be overwhelming for even the most competent sales managers. Allowing them to leverage the expertise of specialists in the industry will amplify the results they can produce while they stay focused on the day to day activities that produce the results.

Rich Grof Sales Manager Training

Performance Planning in 7 Simple Steps for Sales Managers

Performance Planning in 7 Simple Steps for Sales Managers

When is the Best Time to Look at Your Sales Performance Planning?

Planning for Success

Good managers know that planning in advance and reviewing these plans on a regular basis to see what changes are needed are important for success.

I encourage my coaching members to adopt a simple system in order to plan for their success.  The simpler your plan is, the more likely you will follow it. When making your plan keep in mind that most people will over estimate what they can change in one year and underestimate what they can do in 3-5 years.

What You Need to Look at

Your plan will need to look at a number of components to be successful. The following is a list of steps I recommend you integrate into your planning and development for the best performance in your business:
  1. Do a business review of your current year’s statistics for your sales totals and for each sales person.
  2. Do a review of your personal and team S.W.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).
  3. Set your goals for sales and lifestyle first then look at what needs to happen to accomplish them.
  4. Review your past sales/marketing plan and decide how your plan will need to change and adapt.
  5. Review areas for technical growth and ability.
  6. Set up your own Personal Implementation Plan. Without a comprehensive plan to make change happen you could run into problems you never expected.
  7. Set up your tracking and monitoring system.

Timing your Review

The best time to do your planning and review is after the first week in December. By that time most of your clients and prospects will be busy with the holidays and contacting them may be tough. If you find yourself busy in December, work through your sales prospects and reschedule your planning for a quiet time in January. There are always times when things slow down in your businesses use that time to plan.

I personally like to plan a trip away to do planning. Even if it is a short day trip, a change of scenery will help you look at your business and the possibilities that are available for you in the coming year in a different way. Regardless of how you plan, you need to plan for success. So take the time and schedule in your business review now, you will be taking your first step to a great future!

Reach Success: Raise Up Your Inner Champion

Reach Success: Raise Up Your Inner Champion

The Challenges of Success

It’s no secret that the road to success in sales or business has many challenges. Most people know that. We’ve all discovered this truth as we have worked towards our own personal success in our small business or our lives. Each time we are challenged, it’s comforting to know that there is a powerful champion spirit that can rise up inside of us and overcome the seemingly impossible challenges in our path.

Having this champion spirit gives us reassurance that we are on the right track towards success and that we can handle any trouble that come our way. It also builds resilience skills and the ability to perform well under high stress. I learned this valuable lesson when I was the team captain of my high school water polo team and now teach these skills in our top sales training seminars and coaching for small business.

What I Learned Playing High School Sports

Water polo is similar to hockey or soccer except there are two play areas: one is above the water which is visible to the spectators and the referees and the other is below the water where the action is distorted not only by splashing, but also from the depth and the refraction of the water. It is under water where much of the action takes place including grabbing, holding, kicking, and pulling all of which is unseen by the referees. Because most of these infractions go undetected by the referee no whistle or penalty is called. It is when a player retaliates above the water where the referee can see that the whistle is blown and a penalty is given. To “play the game” effectively a player has to remain calm, focus on the ball, the game and be able to “zone out” from the pain. If a player lets frustration and the desire to get even overcomes him then his ability to perform and play the game is lost.

The Hidden Battles

So it is with anything we will do in our business and lives. There are two battles to be waged: one that others can see and the other inside of us. Remember, to maintain your focus and like playing water polo, expect the ‘hit’, its part of the game. A ‘hit’ in your small business is any one of the many challenges you can face such as lacking time, money or even knowing what to do. The good news is that the more skilled you are the more of a potential success you become. Any attacks to knock you off your game are rewarded with the opportunity to overcome the challenge. So no matter what comes your way, keep summoning the champion inside and remember the lesson of the champion is one of strategy, resilience and self-control. To do that you will need to develop new skills. Here are the main ones you will need to work on.

The 5 Skills You Need to Master

1. Dare to Write Down Your Big Dream

Dream so big that if you tell the people closest to you they might think you’re crazy. Often we have some big dreams inside that we have never told anyone else about or even allowed ourselves to entertain. Without a dream, you will not have the emotional commitment when things get tough. Remember, today’s big businesses were once nothing more than entrepreneurs with big dreams!

2. Build an Iron Clad Coat of Confidence

The journey to your success will be stressful and will shake your confidence. You will need to have a sober and realistic view of your abilities and talents so when things get tough, you can remind yourself. A solid confidence will also help you attract good people and resources into your life as you move forward.

3. Exercise Your Determination

Determination is a muscle that you will need to exercise to make it strong enough for the journey to your success. Adversity will be your chosen ‘workout’ and you can expect to have a vigorous routine. All of these challenges will help you build the determination to overcome the urge to quit when the going gets tough.

4. Master Your Greatest Fear(s)

Being and living BOLD requires that you learn to master your fears. Bold people know how to champion their emotions to be courageous, brave and eventually fearless. Without mastery over their fears, any person with great potential will succumb to the lies of their fears as they justify mediocrity.

5. Create a Resilience Plan

It takes guts to build a team of people around who will support you through your journey. Not because they’re not available, but because you will need to admit you need and want the help. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners have a chronic do it yourself mentality that pulls them away from having great resources around them when they need it most.

Rich Grof Performance Coaching provides innovative programs for our valued clients; top sales training seminars, coaching for small business, business growth coaching, professional business coaching, personal leadership development plan, leadership skills training courses and leadership training for executives.

How Leadership is Decided – Leadership Posture Secrets

How Leadership is Decided – Leadership Posture Secrets

The flow of leadership is not decided in one single moment, it’s fluid and active. This is much different than an organizational authority flow chart for a company that is chosen once and seldom changes.

Each time a group or team of people meet together the leadership hierarchy and organizational structure will be reorganized. This is not a conscious choice by most people; it’s an unconscious readjustment of how leadership works within the team. So every time a new person joins the team, there will be a change in the leadership hierarchy. Any time a team member exhibits leadership behaviour at a higher level than what they currently occupy within the team, it will also cause a readjustment. This leadership change is called a leadership bid. Someone within the team is looking to place themselves in a higher leadership position. The bidding process for leadership allows any individual in the team to bid for a higher leadership level at any time.

Every wondered how leadership is decided? Master Coach Rich Grof explains how leadership is decided in a business group or networking meeting. As a professional or business owner, are you aware of how you hold yourself in a room of your peers?