Ernie has had a rich, successful career. He’s built a strong reputation as a knowledgeable, trustworthy advisor. He has hundreds of clients, a professional and dedicated staff, and a unique office in a restored Victorian home. During the recent economic downturn, his referrals started to pour in.
He thinks he’d like to build a full-service advisory with several producers, someone to follow up on those lead sheets or talk to those prospects at his workshops he hasn’t been able to reach. So Ernie decides to hire another producer. His business already has an excellent reputation, and he has hundreds of prospects who haven’t been called. He can offer the new person a draw against commission, and anyone worth their salt will make money in short order.
But, time after time, his new producers didn’t perform to his expectations. Like many driven people, Ernie expected others to be as focused and enthusiastic as he is. When hiring a potential subproducer, it may not work out that way because they suffer from call reluctance. When your business reputation is on the line, it becomes crucial to recognize it and stop it in its tracks. Let’s review the common call-reluctance warning signs:
1. “I will make some calls as soon as I’ve been properly trained and understand more about the practice.” This may be the most obvious warning sign you get from a new producer. More training is rarely, if ever, the solution to a call reluctance issue. Strong salespeople with some basic knowledge will pound the phones right away because they’re motivated to succeed.
When your new producer uses this excuse, it’s often their way to shift the responsibility away from them and on to you. Many entrepreneurs fall into this trap because they are not afraid to take responsibility for their failures, so they respond by sending the producer to training classes and mentoring visits. But the phone isn’t going to dial itself when they get back. Your prospects need to be called, and all the training in the world isn’t going to change that.