Your days are already extremely busy: management meetings, board meetings, financial planning meetings, figuring out ways to meet sales numbers and increase sales, etc.—a never-ending to-do list.
As if there isn’t already enough on your plate, your sales people come to you needing some “quick help” fixing a deal that has stalled. You quickly solve the problem for them and get the deal back on track so you can check it off the to-do list.
But there's a problem: you see the same people come back to you again and again to solve the same problems, and you have the same conversations over and over again with them. You get frustrated because they just don’t seem to “get it” and you see time slip away from you each day by helping your people fight these fires and solving their problems for them.
You've Trained Your Sales People to Rely On You
You may not be able to see it because you have so much to get done each day, but you are helping to create this problem. You’re solving their problems for them and making it okay for your people to avoid taking ownership. Much like Pavlov’s Dogs and the psychology of classical conditioning, you have conditioned your people to come to you whenever they have problems by quickly solving the problems for them.
You may believe that it is quicker to solve the problems yourself than to coach your people to do it, but each time there is a problem and they run to you for the “quick fix” you lose 10 to 15 minutes of your day by obliging them. If you added up how many times that this occurred in the last month, how much extra time would you have if you had coached your people to solve the problem themselves instead?
Make a change today and focus on coaching your people to solve their own problems. Set up a regular time with them each week to coach them through challenging and stuck deals. Ask them to bring you 3 ways that they can solve a problem before they ask you for help. Take back your time and ease the frustration of fighting your people’s fires for them.