We have created our JAM Idea Tools to give you quick 5-minute #marketingideas to implement every time you pull a card from the Idea Deck. Today's "Proactive Prompt" makes you a more proactive marketer. Take 5 minutes and log into every single one of your social media accounts... update something! Your profile picture, banner photo, title, bio, link... it is minor but has major impact. And of course, if you need to do a complete refresh of your accounts? We can help. If you are reading this, email me now to get a FREE pack! klk@JAMIdeaAgency.com
The most significant challenges in professional service firms right now are recruiting and retention. How do you find great candidates and how do you keep great staff? It’s all about the people!
Most “solutions” circle the wagons and throw more money at exactly the same things you’ve done in the past and using exactly the same approach as everyone else. Usually with the same, unimpressive, or non-existent results. But, at least you’re doing something, right? Yikes.
You know what the majority of firms don’t do that would give you a definitive advantage?
A strategic plan. Yes, a strategic plan… defining your company’s direction and making solid decisions on how to pursue your own definition of success (more money, more resources, more time, more happiness).
Now you’re wondering… how does a strategic plan positively impact recruiting and retention? Simple.
Data shows that potential employees are more likely to join a company with defined vision, values, and goals. And the same goes for staff you already have. When people know what drives their company’s success and growth, they feel a connection, they feel invested, they feel their work matters, and they want to stay where they belong to something bigger than just a job.
Whatever amount of money you are spending on reactive staffing efforts would be better directed to creating a proactive strategic plan. This, coupled with your vision, values, and goals will result in an inspired message that resonates with the people – internally and externally - you want in your organization.
How much does it cost you to replace an employee at your company? Now multiply that by your annual turnover rate. Before you waste another dollar, invest in a strategic plan. It’s proven to positively impact your recruiting and retention efforts.
Be obsessed with STRATEGY and go BIG on small details.
TAG MARKETING RECRUITING AND RETENTION
It’s often said that people leave managers, not companies. I would argue that both are equally important. I would never stay at a company whose culture was so misaligned and dysfunctional, even if I loved the one person to whom I reported. At the same time, I would never stay at a great company if my boss was making my life miserable.
However, while one person alone can rarely change a company, a company can influence and change one person. Books, mentoring, training, seminars… all of these are readily available and yet rarely taken advantage of by the firm on behalf of the employee.
I don’t think bad managers are bad people… they are just individuals promoted into managerial positions without the benefit of management training. Just because they are extraordinary at their previous desk job does not ensure they will be great team leaders in their next role. Previous excellence does not always translate. So most of us end up thrown into the proverbial fire with lackadaisical support and emergency on-the-job training, and I will tell you from personal experience, I failed miserably at this when I was given the opportunity to manage an amazingly talented team of 6 when I was 32 years old. It wasn’t from lack of intelligence, passion, effort, or sheer will power. I just didn’t have the tool kit to cope with the one new, ever changing, and remarkably unstable variable in the equation… people! And several of them!
Data shows that 60% of new managers fail within the first few years – what a dismal and depressing statistic (especially at a time when recruiting and retention is more important than ever!). Knowing that, what if your firm proactively incorporated a management and leadership development program before they promoted someone to a supervisory position? Simple and revolutionary.
Here’s my confession. I am not a naturally good or great manager. However, I recognize that managing my staff of 14 is the single most important responsibility I have every day, and I take it very seriously. I need help to be successful. And lucky for me, I have a secret weapon.
Her name is Edie Harrison of LJA Engineering.
What I love most about really powerful seminars is when I walk away with specific and relatable changes I can make to my day or behavior to have the most immediate impact. Here are Edie’s top five items that are easy, actionable, and can be done right now. They all relate to “how” we can communicate better in order to lead, follow, and delegate to ensure our entire team succeeds.
Simple and revolutionary. Exactly!
Action 1: Stop by your direct report’s (DR) work area early each morning and ask them, “What’s the most helpful thing I can do for you today?”
Result: This lets them know you are in it with them, have their back, and understand their challenges. For them, it has the added benefit of thinking through their day and prioritizing. It helps them determine what is important when you say “most helpful.” How many times have you asked a DR, “What can I do for you?” – and they do not have much to say, but then you see them struggling? Often it is because the question is too vague... ”most helpful” makes the question more specific and will drive clearer answers and results.
Action 2: Set aside 15 minutes at the end of each week and ask your DRs four questions: What went well for you this week? What was a challenge this week? What small thing did you learn this week (about anything)? What are the three big things that need to be taken care of next week?
Result: By asking these questions, it gives you a chance to praise them specifically about what went well, coach them through a challenge, reinforce lifelong learning – for you and them – and teach them to prioritize tasks while keeping you keyed in to what is going on with projects… fewer things slip through the cracks, and you will not be blindsided later on. It also helps you to keep track of all their successes for their annual review/performance appraisal!
Action 3: Delegate!!! It often seems easier not to delegate, as we think we can do the “thing” quicker and better… but if we don’t delegate, we wear ourselves out and do not help our DRs grow their skills. When you delegate, lay out the parameters of what you want to delegate to the person: what needs to be done – big picture, timelines, costs allowed, resources they can use, expected quality of the product. Set up a schedule to meet with that person often and consistently to ask them the same questions you would ask in the 15-minute weekly meetings, but this time, relate those questions directly to the project you delegated.
Result: You help ensure they know what good looks like and how they are doing compared to what you need; they grow individually in their critical thinking skills; and together the team succeeds!
Action 4: Take the words “why” and “caused” out of your vocabulary and replace them with “what led” when you want to know what went wrong with something one of your DRs may have messed up or what went right with something they did well. The minute we say “why” it builds a little wall that makes people defensive, and when they are defensive, it keeps them from listening and exploring. Instead of, “Why did you do that?” ask, “What specific step do you think may have led to that”? or “What part of the process may have unintentionally created the issue?” or “What one thing do you think led us to this success?
Result: This depersonalizes the conversation in a good way because it leads the DR to discover where in the process the breakdown occurred or where in the process the success emerged. Words matter! This small change in your vocabulary helps your DR grow and learn from both mistakes and successes.
Action 5: Encourage conflict. To get the best product, we need our DRs to poke holes in our work. At the beginning of a project, ask your team the following questions to stay ahead of the game: What would good look like for this project? What might get in our way as we try to make that happen? What parts can you help me with? What parts should I take on? What might I (the manager) do or not do that could cause this to go wrong? FYI – this also works great when things do go wrong. Ask… what would good have looked like? What got in the way? What did I do or not do that may have caused this to happen? What can each of us do to get it back on track?
Result: This helps your DRs hone real decision-making skills. It also allows them to see, in action, that you trust them and are looking for honest feedback, which always ensures a better product in the end and a better process the next time.
I love managing my team, and I am committed to putting in the effort it takes to be a better leader – for them and for me.
As a manager yourself, focus on your own education and improvement. It is crucial. The next generation is the future of your company and legacy, and you have a hand in that. Leading them is a great privilege.
As a firm, invest in your managers – potential, new, and established. Make them better and stronger, and they will move your company and culture in the right direction.
Many moons ago, I worked for a real estate company in their marketing department, and I grew up in the industry too… my mom was a Realtor for over 30 years.
I understand your business, and I know you market to my neighborhood.
Have you ever heard of geofencing?
JAM Idea Agency uses this digital advertising to reach people within a specific location (think about your own community or subdivision).
We can place your ads to people in every home in that area or zip code. Plus, we capture the clicks and retarget them with additional ads or email messaging.
Not only do you know where your ads are going, you know who sees them and who clicks on them.
If you are interested, we need 15-30 minutes to tell you more about it. It is specific, it is measurable, it is actionable, and it is affordable.
Within your marketing budget, you should REALLY consider adding geofencing to your arsenal.
Most Realtors have no idea this type of marketing even exists, let alone are using it. This means you would have an advantage over other agents trying to find sellers in my subdivision.
We only take one agent per area, so if you would like to be the one in your community, let us know.
TAG DIGITAL MARKETING AND GEOFENCING FOR REALTORS
FOR EVERYONE IN A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES ROLE, WE HAVE ACTUALLY BEEN THERE AND DONE THAT, SO WE KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE!
WE'RE READY TO HELP...
Your senior leadership and the “up and comers” are tasked with bringing in business, building new relationships, and fostering current client engagements, yet they have no guidance, momentum, or substantial encouragement to accomplish any of these tasks. They have been given limited training, support, and tools to start building or expanding their sales pipeline and network. They also have little time to devote to this effort because they are actively working with current - and most importantly, billable - clients and managing projects.
JAM can help. We are here to train and coach your team on business development, setting them on the right track to planning, implementing, and evaluating a full project life-cycle process and then mentoring their progress through clear direction, actionable steps, and key metrics for success.
JAM are specialists within the professional services industry, ready to train and coach your "doer-sellers" on successful strategy, sales, business development, and marketing. We excel at guiding your employees - regardless of role, expertise, or experience - through a proven process that helps them agree on vision/goals/strategy, identify markets, analyze clients, manage realistic business goals, and effectively execute client capture plans and marketing efforts with accountability and metrics.
We can help your firm make the most of its assets and strengths by giving you the tools to be successful long term. Our unique engagement outlines a step-by-step program that will create a culture of teamwork and strategic selling to meet your specific goals.
Connect with us today.
TAG BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TRAINING
If you want a a better company... you have to start with you and your own employees.
Train your rock stars. When you direct your efforts towards them, they can not only deliver a better customer experience, they can also be your best marketing champions. Their engagement and enthusiasm will keep current clients happy and attract new ones. Then those clients become marketing champions for you too.
It's a delicious cycle. Start here.
Not everyone has the same skill sets... and that's actually okay. It's called "strength management." Some doer-sellers can identify, set up, and pursue the leads, and some are adept at closing the deal. They work together to be successful. Business Development needs multiple cooks in the kitchen working together, so how do you train and coach your winning sales teams to deliver the goods?
Marketing is active in "framing" your message by communicating the value of what you offer to your customers.
The right message
to the right audience
in the right format
at the right time.
Marketing tells the audience who you are, and creates awareness of your firm, services, and people. Your engagement should pique interest, increase understanding, and start conversations.
It pushes out your message via:
Lori Grubbs, CPSM and Kristin Kautz, CPSM have officially joined forces to bring you JAM Idea Agency.
Our marketing services are hyper-focused on two things:
1. How the right clients and employees find you
2. How you find the right clients and employees.
It’s that simple.
As seasoned marketing professionals, we don’t start from scratch, we start from experience.
And that puts us and you light years ahead of your competition.
If you are ready to JAM, we are ready for you!