You get the call that your manager is coming to town and expects to ride shotgun with you for 3 days.
Most wholesalers have a mixture of emotions:
Dread: No one likes to have their performance evaluated in the act of performing. This is especially true if your sales numbers have not been up to snuff.
Anxiety: Will you make the right impression? Will all of your planned activities actually happen and not get canceled? Will you get lost on the way to a reps office?
Relief: You’ve been waiting for the boss to arrive and look forward to their coaching.
Excitement: There are COIs that the boss should meet and will help position you in a still better light with them.
Whatever your feelings about this impending visit, here are some points to not overlook:
Run the boss into the ground: You heard it right. This is not the 3 appointments a day and a round of golf on Friday summer schedule. If the boss is coming they expect to see you at your best – and that includes a full calendar. Shoot for 5 appointments per day.
Vary the kind of appointments: Show the boss that you are great in all settings. Schedule appointments that are lunch meetings, branch training’s, group presentations, one on ones, etc.
Introduce them to COIs: Use the bosses visit to get in front of the COIs that have been resistant to see you. Tell the COI that your boss comes bearing information about the relationship with his firm from a more holistic vantage point and that the COI would benefit from the discussion.
Get the boss in front of your best clients: Top producers always want to feel loved. One great way to say “You’re damn important” is to make sure that when a big-wig comes to town that they are able to kiss the top producers ring.
Make sure there is scheduled one on one time: If your boss doesn’t suggest it you should. Make sure there is time for you to get feedback about your performance and where the opportunities for improvement could be. No one is above feedback.
Ask them to present at a group meeting: Not to do your job for you but to learn from them. Assuming their skill level exceed yours why not put them into action.
Remember the small stuff: No, you are not a suck up. Yes, you are a great host. Pick them up at the airport. Drop them at the hotel. Have meals pre-arranged/reservations made. Clean your car (including your trunk!). Fill your tank with gas. Shine your shoes.
True story: Some years ago I was riding with a brand new wholesaler that I hired and we were approaching a busy toll booth on the I-294.
He pulls up to the Exact Change coin bin and frantically searches for ANY money. Then he looks at me with sheer terror in his eyes as the docile citizens of Chicago, stacking up behind us, began to lose their patience.
Panicked, he literally was frozen in place at the toll plaza.
I get out and beg the car behind us to take $1 in return for 2 quarters.
Lesson Learned: Be ready for everything, and overlook nothing, when your manager is coming for a ride-a-along.
So many of my coaching clients lament the fact that the boss doesn’t ever show up and, if they do, that the visit was unproductive.
If your boss is coming take matters into your own hands.
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