The first things that agents do when they realize that they need help, in the form of am assistant, is to run out and hire someone -- anyone -- to take off some of the pressure. In actuality, this is the last thing you should do. Long before you ever considered putting an ad in the paper, you have some serious work to do.
You should take a giant step back and design your ideal team and how you will go about building it, which I refer to as "The Strategy." And then you have to figure out how to make it all happen -- "The Execution" -- which includes not only recruiting and hiring them, but also training and managing them.
When I hired my first assistant, I honestly didn't have a clue what to tell her to do (although I sure kept her busy). I had no organization chart in my head. I just knew I was quickly burning out and needed to share the load with someone. Many times I have shared my story of how she found 17 commission checks shoved in a drawer that I hadn't had time to deposit. Lucky for me this one simple act on her part more than paid for her salary. The most common problem I hear from agents is that they can't get their assistants to do what they want, and, as a result, both their money and their time are wasted on someone who is unproductive.
I usually counter to these agents: "Well, what did you want your assistant to do?" It sounds like a simple enough question, but it�s a thought process very few agents have gone through, and if you fail to take this important first step, you're almost surely destined for failure with the people you hire.
If you don't have a crystal clear picture of what you want this person to do, how on earth could they have an accurate picture? How can they possibly fulfill your expectations if you don't really know what your expectations are?
I equate this to the "Seagull Management" style where you run into your office and "drop" unclear, sporadic assignments on your staff and hope they know what to do without any clear direction from you. You also haven�t taken the time to share with them your vision, goals or expectations. All they see from you is your inability to communicate with them.
This method will not help your business grow and prosper because the effectiveness and service performance of your support staff will continue to falter.
To ensure that your support staff consistently performs with maximum efficiency, long before you even begin the recruitment phase, you have some work to do.
Building Your Team -- The Nine-Step System
1. Determine your strengths.
Develop a profile for yourself which describes your major strengths and weaknesses.
2. Define your Rainmaker Role.
Job functions that you can change the outcome of are called Rainmaker activities. Functions that you cannot change the outcome of, delegate to someone else (for example: having keys cut).
3. Isolate the activities you shouldn't be doing.
A refinement of point #2. Isolate all the activities that you could pay someone else to do that is less than your worth per hour. Categorize these activities into definable jobs or positions.
4. Create a blank organizational chart.
Take the positions you have defined in point #4 and lay them out on your target organizational chart.
5. Determine your worth per hour.
Divide your yearly income by the number of hours you work per year to determine your hourly worth.
6. Design your "game worth playing."
Why should people come to work for you? What's in it for them? What is your vision for your business? What is it that your Team will do really well? What is it that you will take pride in delivering? Determine an overall sense what game you will ask new Team members to play. The idea of this game will help you outline the next step.
7. Develop written position contracts.
For each box on your organizational chart, write a detailed and specific description of what this job would entail. Remember to build in cross-training for when team members are absent so you don't end up filling in yourself.
8. Describe in which order you will fill the positions and when.
Considering the needs of your business and financial situation, decide which team members you need first, second, third and so on. Remember, this is a step-by-step process. Few agents will be able to build an entire Team overnight.
9. Execute your plan.
Now it's time to make it happen. Put your plan into effect to get great people on board who are ready, willing and able to make great things happen for your business.
The Team System
After all, unlike the typical agent who tries to do every aspect of the business on his or her own, your clients will have a full Team of specialists working for them, each of whom is responsible for a specific part of the process.
The Four Components of the T-E-A-M System:
Tell the world you're looking for team members (The recruiting System)
Entertain interested candidates and choose the best (The Hiring System)
Allow them to learn before doing (The Training System)
Manage your tem (The Managing System)
Creating a Team Around You is a Win-Win Situation
� Your clients win because they get a whole Team of people working for them (versus a single agent).
� You win because you will never run out of time because each Team member (support or professional staff) is responsible for a specific process. Together your combined efforts add up to superior results.