27 Mar 3(ish) Minute Moment: Why Won’t They ______
In my consulting business, I often hear my clients share their frustration about their employee’s lack of progress in an area that is outside of the employee’s comfort zone.
It usually is expressed in the question, “Why won’t they just _______?” (You can fill in the blank.)
In today’s video, I want to share five tips for helping your employees progress from, “We’re never doing that.” to “This is really doable.”
I can’t get my employees to ___________ (fill in the blank), is a frequent discussion that I have with a lot of leaders.
So, I’m going to tell you a little about Bronson.
Bronson’s a CEO of a large technology company and one day he said, “I am so frustrated with my people, I can’t get them to network!”
I said, “Your technical people won’t network, Bronson?”
“Yeah! We want to build our visibility in this area, we want more referral work, and you know what, I pay them a lot of money so they should be out there doing what I need them to do.”
Bronson had this brilliant idea that maybe what he needed to do was bring in a sales trainer because a sales trainer could teach them how to network.
I said, “Bronson, stop. Training is not a pill. What I want you to do is think about changing their mentality. You have technical people that do a phenomenal job so when you say to them, ‘Hey I want you to go out and network.’ you might as well say, ‘Pick up the yellow pages and start cold-calling!’
“Have they told you, Bronson, We have this whole sales team over there, what are we doing that for?”
And he was so shocked.
“They’ve told me that for a long time.”
What I learned when I talked to him a little bit more was not only had he been telling them this, but he had been saying this to them for two years.
Every month he would say, “Here’s what our numbers are, here’s where we are! I need you all to network!”
And I said, “Bronson, what do they say?”
“They say they’ll do it!”
“What happens the next month, Bronson?”
“And you’ve done this 24 times? Are you really expecting a change?”
So here’s what he did, We looked at what his actual goals were, and his real intentions were visibility and growth.
And so I ask him, “What are you willing to do to make sure this works?”
He had a whole laundry list of things he was willing to do.
One of the things that I told him is, when you are working with people who you’re asking to get way outside of their comfort zone, it’s critical to put the reins in their hands and let them decide how they’re going to do it.
So we guided them, built a roadmap together and in one day they went from, “We’re never doing that.” to “This is really doable.”
Then there was training behind it, of course, so that they understood how to do it.
The result was, within a couple of months, they were starting to see a difference. But if we fast forward for a couple of years, it was millions of dollars difference in business.
And it was all because if you ask them, they say, “We have a sales culture with our technical team.”
People say, “How did you do that?!”
So let me tell you some things that we did.
1) We gave them clear expectations. What does networking mean? That doesn’t mean to go and get ten cards as quickly as you can at any event. It might mean going out to lunch or dinner with some previous clients or some potential clients.
2) We made sure we involve them in, what does good look like and how are you going to get there? Because when you ask people that question it becomes their idea. And when it’s their idea, it’s their baby and they’re gonna do it.
3) We made sure that they had the knowledge that they needed to get this done. So that might mean training, that might mean just some brush up, that might mean go with me and show me what I’m supposed to do. It could be anything.
4) We made it easy for them to be successful. So that means that they had to give them some time to go network. If I made them work 100 hours a week and then said, “Now go network, too!” that is not a good example of making it easy. They also wanted to make sure they knew, “Hey we got a budget for you to entertain people.” so they made it easy to do the networking.
5) Last but not least, in fact maybe the most important, there was accountability for every single thing those people did. So every single month they were reporting their results, and I’ll tell you, in the beginning, some of them were shamed because they didn’t do what they were supposed to.
So think about your situation.
Have you ever asked, “Why won’t they do this?”
Most of the time what we find is their desire to do it is missing, and your ability to hold them accountable is also missing.
So what are you struggling with and how’re you gonna fix it?