What do a great party hostess and a great manager have in common? They take ownership of the outcome. Whether you are planning an amazing party or ramping up a new sales person, there are similar strategies you can follow to make sure everyone is engaged, and everything runs smoothly.
As the hostess of a party, you do not eat and drink for your guests and you do not talk for them—but you DO invite the right people to attend, and you do greet them at the door. You take their jacket and make them feel warm and welcome. You show them to the bar, you point out the food or mention what time dinner will be served. You give them the tools they need and point them in the right direction. If you are really good, you also introduce them to a few people and help them make meaningful connections.
Advanced selection and planning teamed with flawless execution are keys to ensuring your new sellers are engaged, trained and ready for action. Keep the focus on ensuring your new person feels confident in the company and their products so they can convey confidence rather than insecurity to clients and prospects.
Here are some of the best tips I have ever received for hosting a party, translated to help you make sure your new hire is a success:
1. Be comfortable.
The first step in engaging a new employee is to start by being comfortable with your hiring decision. Did you do your homework and follow the necessary steps? Do you feel the Talent matches the Job Description? Awesome! You are comfortable and ready to go.
2. Be ready.
Have a pre-planned approach. How do you want them spending their first day? First week? First 60-90 days? Having clear and specific expectations laid out in advance (even better if they are discussed in the interview/hiring stages) helps to set the tone and alleviate any room for miscommunication down the road.
3. Make your guests feel special.
If you were hosting friends for dinner wouldn’t you think of ways to make them feel important? Maybe having their favorite drink on hand or knowing if they are vegetarians or not? Think about the person you just hired and how you were able to “win” them and their talents away from the competition. Talk to them about WHY you wanted them on your team. Provide feedback on their best qualities and offer encouragement. Have an open door policy for questions and make them feel welcome and appreciated.
4. Never leave your guest alone.
Don’t leave them in the hallway and run back into the kitchen. Partner them with a trusted mentor—have them shadow different reps to learn different styles of selling. Enroll them in a training program, and have them spend time with other departments. Show them all of the tools and people and resources available so they don’t feel alone.
5. Always be ready to step in and change the course of the party.
Things not going as planned? Direction need to change? Be aware and constantly communicate on expectations so you know early on, and are able to anticipate short comings or roadblocks before they become major and truly impact a person’s ability to succeed. Be proactive. Get on the phone with an expert on talent and talk about the person’s strengths and workarounds for their weaknesses. Fine tune your management plan and change your strategy if it is not working.
Think about the worst party you ever attended.
What about the best party you ever attended?
Now think about what kind of party are you “hosting” right now? What kind of atmosphere are you creating? If it is anything less than the best, reach out to us and let us know how we can help you liven it up and engage your team. Take ownership of the outcome and use all of the resources available to you. Think of us as your ultimate party planners and let us help you set the stage for success!
Learn how to develop powerful relationships with the people on your team when you download these tips.
Dana Bojcic is a Senior Talent Analyst at The Center for Sales Strategy.