“Cheerleaders, how do you feel?”
“We feel good. Oh so good. Hut triple hut hut yeah! Hey ho Jackson Jags got some hut! Hey ho Jackson Jags got some hut!”
In case you’re thinking I’ve lost control of my faculties, this is one of my daughter’s cheers. Yes, I’m a cheer dad (sort of) who occasionally sits on the sidelines at football games or through the even more occasional regional or national competition.
My favorite part of the kid’s cheerleading is how the older girls support the younger ones. As an 8 year old, my daughter Julia had the opportunity to be on the field in the third quarter of a Friday night high school football game with their cheerleaders. All the little ones were so excited to be on the field with the older girls. Pretty cute to watch.
In fact, at a football game, if a group of older cheerleaders from the same town (or school) are in the bleachers, after the younger girls cheer, the older ones will cheer right back at them, “We are proud of you! Say, we’re so proud of you!”
I was at a middle school football game this past weekend. In the fourth quarter, one of the players hurt his knee and was down. As he remained on his back, he was surrounded by players, coaches, and a doctor. Although the stands were packed, there was complete silence.
Every player and cheerleader on the field for BOTH teams “took a knee” and remained there until the player was carried off the field. The player was alright but the support everyone on the field showed for him will stay with me.
What an act of respect and teamwork – no matter what team you root for.
I’m not sure I see the same level of respect and teamwork at the firms I visit when it comes to helping a fellow sales producer who’s struggling to grow their practice. Of course, there’s basic training which is mostly product knowledge, but after that, it’s every player (or producer) for themselves. It’s no wonder why so many fail!
Of course, if there was more of an effort to recruit the right candidates and have more experienced sales producers available to help them generate more business, many more would succeed and the team (agency, branch, or whatever) would have much higher retention and production.
Here are six ways for you, as a seasoned sales producer (if in fact you are!) to “take a knee” and help the younger (or at least newer) producers grow their businesses.
Be More Involved in Recruiting
Help in brainstorming and implementing an aggressive incentive plan to encourage financial advisors and other sales producers to refer candidates to the firm. In fact, lead by example. How does this help you? You can have a hand in training and, potentially, splitting cases. Also, you’ll be a part of developing the firm and have the manager’s ear. Not a bad thing!
Volunteer to Coach
If you have your practice together and seem to be going in the right direction, let your manager know that you want to coach some of the newer advisors. By helping them with their process; establishing a target market, how to fact find, make appointments, run sales meetings, close business, and holding them accountable to specific outcomes, they can help you right back.
Coordinate Internal Coaching Meetings
Since you will know the firm or agency better than a new producer, you’ll be aware of who is best at networking, setting appointments by phone, product knowledge, social media, corporate education, and overall production so you can point them in the right direction. Even better if you’re in a position to help arrange time for them to spend with these producers to gain the breadth of their knowledge and experience. Just make sure it goes both ways and there’s a benefit for everyone.
Be a Part of the Sales Appointment
Volunteer to attend sales appointments with new producers, especially if there isn’t a sales manager available. Offer to run the meeting until they get the hang of it on their own. I know a top producer that does this with all the newer reps that work with the firm and he’s developed quite the group of cheerleaders himself.
Help with Smaller Accounts
Have newer and less experienced producers help you with the accounts that you can’t get to so you can focus on larger cases. This allows you to pursue different markets and establish additional revenue streams while the rookie gets experience. Of course, work out whatever compensation makes you both happy.
Give Feedback to the Sales Manager
As appropriate, communicate with the new producer’s sales manager to let them know of progress and any insights that will help everyone in the process. Naturally, never talk behind someone’s back but, if you’re coming from a place of helping and “taking a knee”, everybody wins!
Other than developing great relationships and feeling good about helping others, you could end up splitting cases while adding a nice revenue stream to your practice.
And that’s something to cheer about!
Photo by Chris Shortread more