Top Expert Tips for New Managers

Expert Tips for First-Time Managers

Recently I came across a list of these Expert Tips for First-Time Managers, and I couldn’t help but think, “I wish I had seen these early in my career.”  I mean, who hasn’t thought they wanted someone to tell them something about how to be a manager.

As a result, I have started to use this as weekly development sessions for individuals that I have been given advancement opportunities to recently.  Each of the topics serve as a module for that week as we jointly do more research. To further the process, I assign “homework” for them to use and apply in the new managerial duties.  In addition, throughout the week, I have found that these new managers want to stop in and just chat for a bit about some of the facets of these tips.

Before I go any further, the Top Ten (10) are-

  1. Take time to understand the business in which you are operating.
  2. Develop time-management skills.  
  3. Practice active listening skills.
  4. Know how to motivate and lead employees.  
  5. Continue your own training and development.  
  6. Don’t stay isolated in the office.
  7. Don’t pretend you know all the answers.  
  8. Don’t take all the credit.
  9. Don’t expect employees to be perfect.  
  10. Learn to delegate effectively.

Like I said above, I did not come up with this list, and quite honestly I couldn’t come up with a better list if I tried.

If a manager is responsible for administering all or part of a company or similar organization as defined when I use Google, then these 10 tips could not be more spot on.  These tips do not tell you how to do each of these, but they do provide an excellent platform for what I described above – explanation, discussion, share, research, apply and so forth.  In fact, some of the discussions get more in depth as you even explore the values of some and/or what are characteristic of others.

And let’s face it, there are some managers who do not get this till well into their manager years or worse yet ever.  And it’s no wonder why it’s written that people leave managers, not jobs.

Most people want to do well and just by openly and honestly sharing these, managers first-time or not can be better leaders who have the ability to communicate, encourage, persuade and influence to be more productive and happier which only leads to more success for everyone.

So check them out and my sincere wish is that you find them as impactful as I have. So enjoy.

As President of SOS Sales Help since March of 2017, Craig expertly leads the team that manages the development, execution and growth of Account Management, Partner Operations and Strategic Services as well as HR, Quality and Training for the company in this executive teleservices business. Prior to this, he invested the last thirty years at Infinity, APAC and Entertel in successful leadership roles.

Big Company Goals and Small Company Values

Big Company Goals. Small Company Values.

This claim to fame isn’t something new, and it is very likely something that you’ve heard before.  But what does it really mean when a business has small company values & big company goals.  Really any size business, even the smallest, if managed properly can have the values that are rock-solid and goals that are out-of-this-world.

But there are key attributes that are consistent with those companies that do, such as:

Collaborative Partnerships

These are companies that work side-by-side with you on every step of the program. That includes –

  • Onboarding
  • Implementation
  • Training
  • Initial Period
  • Roll-out
  • New projects
  • And more…

These are also relationships that are built on a mutual respect and appreciation for one another, so that you know this partner has your best interest at heart at all times and is acting in your stead in all phases of the program as an extension or ambassador.

Another way to look at this is the word empathy or really understanding another’s perspective behind what they are doing and how they are they doing it. In this case, a good partner possesses empathy.

Flexibility

This is so incredibly important in our so busy, ever changing times.  And yes, smaller more boutique agencies likely are set up more suitably to be flexible, it doesn’t mean larger companies cannot or that as the partner you cannot ask for this.  You should feel that you are truly building and working on something unique together with someone of authority and expertise on whatever makes the most sense for you and your company.

Again because of the needs of the market, you want to deliver innovation to your program, and you want a partner that is able & willing to make the changes quickly and efficiently either with you or on you behalf as the extension of you.

Results driven

At the end of the day, there is no program that ultimately isn’t driving for results.  I mean let’s face it… is there anything more important to any size company than positive sales results?

A valuable partner has your goals in your sights at all times to make sure they are trying to figure out what works or what doesn’t without wasting a bunch of money or time doing it.  They should have a passion for providing solutions that are quicker, more efficient and of course effective.

Quick Summary

As I indicated above, there are many more attributes to what this partner means to you and is personalized to each person and company.  But just know that any company of any size can deliver on this and you don’t have to be a gigantic company to be in the position to deliver on them.  You decide and pick wisely.

As President of SOS Sales Help since March of 2017, Craig expertly leads the team that manages the development, execution and growth of Account Management, Partner Operations and Strategic Services as well as HR, Quality and Training for the company in this executive teleservices business. Prior to this, he invested the last thirty years at Infinity, APAC and Entertel in successful leadership roles.

Partnerships are Important

Why are Partnerships in our Community & Nationwide so Important?

For me personally, this is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding parts about owning your own business is the fact that it allows us to develop partnerships with other community leaders and really and truly help each other in driving growth and success for each other.

In addition – it has been eye-opening the number of meetings and organizations that occur in the community to drive business growth and success. My professional advice is to get involved with all of them and be as active as you can.  The more people you know and interact with; the more people that are now part of that group that know and understand your business and can be an ambassador for you with others.

So you might ask, are there any bad matches?  Well to be honest, I haven’t found any yet from my personal opinion.  But of course you want your partnerships to be successful, rewarding and long-standing so you want to be sure that your goals and aspirations align with one another.  With all of your partnerships, make sure you are investing them with time and reciprocity.  Then you should plan and communicate with these partners on a regular basis, so you can continue to build on your relationship, give/get regular updates on each other’s business, and create opportunities for an exchange of resources and opportunities.

You can constantly evaluate the progress of the relationship and what it’s doing for you or your business. However keep in mind that relationships especially like this can be mutually beneficial for many reasons, and that sometimes opportunities are like a sales pipeline:  It just takes time.  The beauty is that your relationships in the community will continue to evolve.

A few tips to share in building these community relationships –

  • Be direct in your communication, ie Ask the right questions, Share your insights
  • Add your feedback as you never when what you say will influence your comrade
  • Share your values with them and hopefully you share similar values with your new community partner
  • Plan ahead with your ideas and meetings so you can be sure to be in tune with one another
  • Always be thinking about your relationship, for instance what groups are you in that they might benefit from to, who else is in your network that would be benefit from their product/service

As well, this goes the same for Nationwide although in the obvious larger scope.

So get out there, meet people, engage with them, and mutually prosper.

As President of SOS Sales Help since March of 2017, Craig expertly leads the team that manages the development, execution and growth of Account Management, Partner Operations and Strategic Services as well as HR, Quality and Training for the company in this executive teleservices business. Prior to this, he invested the last thirty years at Infinity, APAC and Entertel in successful leadership roles.

Reward and Recognize Your Employees

10 Excellent Methods to Reward & Recognize Your Employees

Since the beginning of time, people have needed and wanted recognition for their efforts. And then in return for that recognition they want to be rewarded for those same efforts.

So because this has been going on for hundreds and thousands of years, there are equally as many answers and suggestions for rewards & recognition.

In the call center industry, it is part of our daily life and we find it a “must-do” in our coordinating and planning of our call activities. In fact so much so that we speak to this in our pre sales process with our prospective clients as well as a major part of our implementation process for new program start ups and/or project re starts.  Let’s just say that rewards & recognition make you employees happy, appreciated and committed in the simplest of terms. And in turn, these traits will equate to satisfied, dedicated and loyal teammates.

But to that end, we still want to list some of our favorite and maybe even unique methods to reward & recognize your employees for not just successes but for their efforts too (not to mention that these efforts turn into successes with the right rewards & recognition along with coaching & development).  So they are:

  1. Simple shaking of hands or clap on the back goes a long that you just thought and invested that minute with them
  2. Standing ovation for an employee, just covertly get them into a room with their fellow teammates and then give them a round of applause; you will be amazed at the response of this concerted effort
  3. FOOD Food food any type of food whether it be breakfast or lunch in the office or cocktails &/or dinner outside of the office or even healthy or not-so-healthy snacks are usually a fan favorite and definitely display support
  4. Getting them scratch off tickets to give as spot rewards through the day is super fun & gets every in a good mood (at modest expense)
  5. Giving them early outs paid or better yet paid days off (or birthdays paid off) – All of them are received very well and appreciated
  6. Running errands for your employees rewards them in both time & money – Something every one enjoys, some of those include:  Getting their car washed, taking/picking up their dry cleaning; having their laundry done are just a few ideas
  7. Presenting them with a hand-written thank you note is “old school” but personal and endearing
  8. Awarding them with some type of on site benefit that they wouldn’t normally get “at work, for example – body massage or haircut
  9. Giving them time off paid to volunteer for a worthy cause
  10. Playing in-house tournaments, such as checkers, scrabble, ping pong just to name a few

When they say it’s the thought that counts, well they couldn’t be any plainer. It really is the thought that counts when recognizing someone in your office space that has done something to be rewarded.  They are grateful themselves and then go out and spread the news of the company’s good nature and then everyone is awarded.  It’s a WIN Win win.

As President of SOS Sales Help since March of 2017, Craig expertly leads the team that manages the development, execution and growth of Account Management, Partner Operations and Strategic Services as well as HR, Quality and Training for the company in this executive teleservices business. Prior to this, he invested the last thirty years at Infinity, APAC and Entertel in successful leadership roles.

Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies in the Corridor

Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies in the Corridor

This year in our tenth year of established business, SOS Sales Help was honored with being named one the Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies in the Corridor.

To say this is an honor is truly an understatement, this past year my business partner, Jason Siefken, and myself have worked long and hard to re-establish ourselves in both the community and nationwide as an innovative partner for our Clients and a choice that will drive revenue for them.  A partner that is dedicated to mutual success for our client by creating a transparent relationship with our Clients; one that embodies real-time communication to/from our clients, our Agents and myself.

We pride ourselves on being flexible and nimble to our Client’s needs so that we can motivate and guide your base to a solution.

As I indicated above 10 years ago, my business partner, Jason Siefken, CEO & Founder wanted to create a more executive inside sales team that could be a direct extension of our Clients.  He wanted to be able to provide Agents that really embody our Clients in their day to day interactions with their customers and prospects.  In this, we wanted to display our intelligent workforce who can engage with your customers and prospects and creatively and passionately share your value statement.

He also wanted to provide a workplace in the community where mutual respect is a “real thing” and that our Agents work hard for us and for you because they want and feel the success.  As well, he wanted to be able to provide a positive environment where our employees can learn and grow in a fun, exhilarating atmosphere.

As we bask in the reward of being in the Top 25 Fastest Growing Companies in the Corridor, we all feel that the months and years of working to get to this place is a prize that we gladly and warmly share with our Clients, our Partners and our Employees.

As President of SOS Sales Help since March of 2017, Craig expertly leads the team that manages the development, execution and growth of Account Management, Partner Operations and Strategic Services as well as HR, Quality and Training for the company in this executive teleservices business. Prior to this, he invested the last thirty years at Infinity, APAC and Entertel in successful leadership roles.

Top 5 Attributes to a Good Hire

Top 5 Key Attributes to a Good Hire

What are the key attributes of a good hire?  Meaning what type of traits about that person attract you and that in your mind equate to a solid hire.

This is a question that can be answered in as many times as it’s asked, so this is just guidelines that have stood out over time to indicate a good addition to your team.

1 | Ability to Learn

First up is ability to learn.  Does their background indicate that they have either been asked to or taken the initiative to learn something new? And been successful at that feat? When asked about such, can they tell you how and what they’ve learned.  Every job position has some type of learning and associated learning curve, so the shorter you can make this, then the better for everyone.

2 | Ability to Adapt

Second is the ability to adapt. Adapt to what you might ask?  Well initially adapt to their new surroundings, their new role, their new co-workers, their new responsibilities, not to mention other potential factors like schedule, platforms, systems, communication styles, etc.  Then you have the everyday life of changes that occur in the workplace like procedures and processes and such.  So basically, you want to be add someone who is able to adapt and “go with the flow”.

3 | Hardworking

Third on the list is a person who is simply hardworking.  You want someone who has demonstrated in the past to be a person who takes seriously important items like – Prompt arrival times, ability to be a self starter, willing to put in the extra effort for exceeding results, reliability, dependability, willingness to take on new & exciting tasks and more.  These people know how to work hard, how to plan and organize their day, pay attention to the big and the small stuff and just know how “go the extra mile” to make it all work out.

4 | Communication Skills

Fourth is communication skills.  This is a wide open subject, like how they communicate with you, how they interact with others, how they respond to situations, verbal, written, facial expressions, body language and the list goes on.  But in almost any job position, their communication skills in one way or another define who they are and how effective (or ineffective) they are in dealing with others and handling situations that arise or come their way.  So just talk to your candidate and get them telling you about who they are, then just listen.

5 | Integrity

Last – Integrity.  If your company is like most others, then you want to be able to trust your employees so honesty is a big deal.  No lying, no cheating, no stealing.  And in addition good judgment, good values, good morals.

So when hiring, these areas have been of a positive influence and can lead you to make a more impactful decision for your organization. Of course, it’s not fail proof as nothing really is. But they are definitely good pointers to use in your decision making process for the right person.

As President of SOS Sales Help since March of 2017, Craig expertly leads the team that manages the development, execution and growth of Account Management, Partner Operations and Strategic Services as well as HR, Quality and Training for the company in this executive teleservices business. Prior to this, he invested the last thirty years at Infinity, APAC and Entertel in successful leadership roles.

Consulting Services

Should You Consider Consulting Services for Your Business?

What do consulting services really mean in your business today?  How/when should you invest in such services?  And why should you consider them?

These are just a few of the questions that arise when your business may consider a consultant. These usually come up when your business has some type of process that needs to be fixed or improved.  Or worse your business is not meeting their monthly, quarterly and/or quarterly target.   The consultant normally has a specific level of expertise in this area and after research and survey can diagnose and recommend for your future.

These consultants for your business will management overseeing to help you improve performance through evaluation of your processes and procedures. As you can imagine, they are looking to provide efficiencies in the system that as they say “provides it better, faster, cheaper”.

Simply put, they analyze your business and provide solutions to help you achieve your annual revenue plans.

Although rates vary based on the level of expertise that a consultant may have, how long they’ve been consulting, their geographical location, yours and other such factors but average rate per hour is $200 – some higher, some lower, of course.  But really you can also engage most consultants for a flat rate as well for a certain period and/or a required process to fix or improve.

This flat rate should coincide with the return on investment (ROI) for this process if it’s fixed or improved as well what fits into your budget for such services.  In most cases, your business should have a line item in your annual expense planning for this type of consulting or other such services.

So only you can decide if/when you need a consultant, but at the right time, at the right price, for the right challenge, it’s worth your investment.

As President of SOS Sales Help since March of 2017, Craig expertly leads the team that manages the development, execution and growth of Account Management, Partner Operations and Strategic Services as well as HR, Quality and Training for the company in this executive teleservices business. Prior to this, he invested the last thirty years at Infinity, APAC and Entertel in successful leadership roles.