Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Ingenious Executive- Create a Turnkey Operation

Have you been promoted lately? Most likely, your workload has increased. Employers often ask their workers to take on additional responsibility, especially during a recession where funds for extra labor is scarce. So how do you handle the additional work? With Ingenious Time Management you can hand off your overflow and preserve your relationships, all while increasing the skill level of your junior staff.

Let’s say your duties have expanded and you’ve just accepted a greater workload.  You have relationships with a select group of contacts– customers, vendors, or partners.  These relationships still need to be managed.  And you don’t want to burn any bridges.  Maybe some of them are even friends.

You know some coworkers in the same boat who just accepted the new work without transferring any of the old.  But you can see they’re now overloaded and headed for burnout.  You don’t want that to happen to you.  Because you're an Ingenious Executive you know you can grow the company. So you must find  a way to lighten the load somehow.

Last week we discussed how to encourage a customer to fire himself by gradually decreasing the value you provide.

How to Train the Organization

Ask your supervisor to allow you to delegate certain of your old contacts to junior personnel.  Suggest in this way you’ll be giving these junior workers valuable on-the-job training them while freeing up your schedule so you can excel in your new duties.  Agree to oversee the process.  Positioned this way, most bosses will see the benefit and agree to your proposal.

Start by informing your contacts of your new responsibilities and invite them to celebrate your new role with the company.  Mention that one benefit of the promotion is additional staff that can help you fulfill your new responsibilities.  Reiterate that you have always strived to provide the very best service.  Stress to your contacts that they can rely on your delegate to handle the daily routine calls but that you'll still be overseeing the account.  Afterward route through every call from these people to your staff.

In the same way you fire customers, you then delegate your old contacts.  Gradually make it less convenient for your old contacts to deal directly with you.  At the same time, ensure your delegate provides greater convenience when dealing with them.  Similar to removing value an outgoing customer receives, you gradually decrease the convenience in dealing directly with you while providing a comfortable alternative.

The key is to do this gradually, in stages.  You want your contact to feel they ultimately make the decision to deal with your subordinate, not have it thrust on them.

Initially have your delegate act solely like a receptionist, answering and transferring the call to you.  Then in the following calls instruct your staff members to engage lightly and pleasantly on the phone, perhaps letting them know how much they’re looking forward to working with them before passing the call on to you.

They for each call, delegate will increase the level of interaction with the contact while prolonging the time it takes to reach you.  Now they won't transfer the call; they'll take a message. Again gradually increase the time it takes for you to get back to them.  At the same time, during each call your delegate will offer to handle the matter in your stead.

As they prove their competence, your old contacts will start to rely more upon them.  Soon after they’ll stop approaching you and deal directly with the delegate.  Then you can manage the relationship from a high level while your delegate handles the daily interaction.

[Note: Don't make them wait long enough to irritate them, just to make them aware that you are getting busier.  And in any emergent situations, respond promptly.  Use your judgment.]

Why This Delegation Technique Succeeds

People fall into ruts.  Your contacts want to continue to deal with the same person out of habit, and to avoid retreading already covered ground.  So some contacts may take a long time to accept the delegation.  That’s fine; eventually they will.  Handled properly, at some point the contact will accept the help of your delegate. 

In this way you get your contacts to fire themselves while still maintaining the integrity of the association.  Each contact you delegate frees up a little more of your time to handle your new duties, make more sales, add more partnerships, add more staff, and build the organization.  You can scale an organization very rapidly this way.

Have you found a better way to scale?  What do you think of this method?  Leave a comment and let me know.

Later this week I’ll share Ingenious Sales Training, a way for you to institute a free training program that will improve each rep in your sales department.  And in a later article I’ll reveal how you can eliminate the headache of those annoying variable expenses like merchant card fees.  It starts next week, so stay tuned!  Until then,

profitable business All! 


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