Managing Marketing Reps
Last week, we talked about why it is important to hire a Marketing Rep, and the type of person you should look for to fill this role. In this week’s episode of “A Drink with the Hurricane,” we are talking about how to measure the success of a new marketer, and when it’s time to let someone go.
We have had business owners call our office, complaining that their brand new marketer has been in the field for 3-4 weeks and still hasn’t gotten any referrals. I tell these people to chill out! On the flip side, we get calls from business owners who have had the same marketer for over a year, and are reluctant to fire the person because they “really like him or her,” but they only get 1-2 referrals a month. I tell these people to make the tough decision and either train the marketer properly, or replace them immediately.
When it comes to a Home Care Marketing Rep position, you have to remember that it takes time to develop a referring relationship. In nearly every situation, a Home Care Marketing Rep is going into places that are familiar with the services, and probably already have a company or two that they regularly give their referrals to. It is the rep’s job to get that account to STOP referring those other companies, and START to refer them. That takes time! People give business to those who they know, like and trust…you have heard me say this many times. You may know someone after 1-2 meetings, and you may like them in that same time, but for most people, it takes MONTHS to develop a feeling of trust for another person. Don’t ever forget this.
When I started marketing Home Care in 2005, I only signed on about 4-5 clients total in my first three months, from August to November. In my fourth month with the company, I signed on 12 clients total and never looked back. Here I am, 10 years later…the expert on Direct Referral Marketing in this industry…and even I didn’t get rolling until a few months into it. You HAVE to give your marketer time. Typically, about 3-6 months on average, to start to develop the types of relationships with the people at these accounts, that will give them referrals regularly.
A lot of businesses have a belief in a 90-day probation period. I agree, that for most jobs in the majority of industries, this is good practice. But what I recommend to all my clients, is that for a Marketing Rep position, you want to give them six full months to see results, before you make a decision either way. A 90-day probation is a good measure to ensure they are doing the activity. If after 90 days, the marketer hasn’t set up any in-services, they don’t regularly go to networking events, they only meet with 20 or so contacts weekly, etc…then they are not doing their job and it could be time for corrective action, or potentially to let them go. But, if after 90 days, the rep IS doing all the activity, and meeting with around 35-45 people weekly, give them a little more time to see the results come in. This is especially true if you are in a super saturated territory. It’s hard work to take business away from someone else…and that is essentially what a good marketer does.
I understand sometimes it is hard to fire someone…especially if you like them as a person and enjoy working with them. But trust me when I tell you, if after six months, the marketer isn’t getting results, and the person is doing all the right things…it is best to get them out of their misery. It’s damaging to your business, and also damaging to their self-esteem to continue to go out there day after day and fail again and again. Sometimes, as a business owner, you have to make the tough decisions.
I LOVE getting feedback from people…so tell us what YOU think about the six month trial period. Do you do something different? What has worked for you? Sharing is caring, folks. Let us hear it!
To learn more about how to manage Marketing Reps, tune in for the monthly LIVE webinar for our Home Care Revenue Builders. Not a member? Sign up today! You will have access to our archive of webinars, and the Facebook forum where Valerie, me, and all our coaches teach you how to Blow Away the Competition!
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