BEST PRACTICEElite Agent

Explode your Business with A PA!

Chris Watson from Ray White Victoria gives a step-by-step guide to how you should use a PA to grow your success in sales.

Quite Often in my role, salespeople ask me, what is the single biggest thing they can do to send their numbers through the roof? My answer: Break away from the employee mindset, and enter the rewarding sales business owner realm by employing people in your business.

In my mind, to become the owner of your ‘career business’ you have to invest in it, and in my experience no numbers can grow until this mindset is changed. The best place to invest is through people. Speak to any company in the world, and right at the top of the list of priorities are people. To put on a PA is an investment, and with every investment you should expect a return. Ninety-five per cent of salespeople in Ray White who write over $450,000 a year in gross commission have a PA. Success leaves clues!

In my opinion there are two types of PAs: reactive PAs and proactive PAs. Too many salespeople employ reactive PAs to do the tasks that they don’t like and ‘clean up’ after the salesperson. They think, “Now I have a PA, I can kick back because the PA will do that.” The business won’t grow if a PA is only working on tasks that the salesperson creates; it has to be the other way around. PAs need to create tasks for the salesperson. Think about it; would a salesperson write more commission if a PA processed the listings the salesperson gets, or if the PA gives the salesperson more opportunities to get listings that need to be processed?

There is no doubt in my mind that PAs should prospect just as much as the salesperson. Obviously, the type of prospecting PAs would do is different. Think of a funnel: the PA puts all ‘soft’ leads into the funnel and the salesperson builds the relationship with those soft leads until they come out the bottom as ‘hot’ leads.

WHERE DO YOU START?

The first step I would encourage is to write down a list of every activity that the salesperson does; everything from database management, prospecting, vendor management, the buying process, and so on. After that, colour-code the list into dollar productive activities and non-dollar productive activities, keeping in mind that my thoughts on dollar productive activities are prospecting, listing and price adjustments. Then the agents circle the activities at which they are strongest.

This list will form the tasks that the PA will complete. The salesperson and PA complete more dollar productive activities, for example prospecting. The PA will need to be capable of completing tasks where the agent is not strong, as the salesperson and the PA need to complement each other in a partnership.

Next step is to develop an operations and procedures manual, detailing step by step how to carry out each of these activities. There is some work involved in this, but it will make the induction process of a PA easier and accelerate their development.

STRUCTURED LEARNING IS KEY

Next, salespeople need to develop a structured learning program for the new PA. This includes a tiered learning plan, where the PA must be deemed competent by the salesperson in one activity before progressing to the next. This might include, for example, training on scripts for buyer follow-up that the PA must role play, with the salesperson acting as a buyer. Once the salesperson is happy with the PA’s role play, the PA can be sent into the field. This is the most crucial part of a PA’s learning. The salesperson must know and be happy about what a representative of their business is saying to potential clients.

Once this is set up, the salesperson needs to make a commitment to the structure of their business. Will the PA be required to email you a to-do list each morning? What KPIs are set for the PA and how will they be measured? What times will be allocated to meet one-on-one with the PA? What will be the agenda of these meetings? How often will they take place? The most powerful effect of a PA is that they force the salesperson to have sound time management skills and provide them with someone to report to. The best PAs are those who ask, “What prospecting have you done today? Why haven’t you hit your KPIs?”

FINDING THE RIGHT PA

Now that the salesperson has this set up, we can start to look for the correct candidate. My suggestion here is to partner with your manager and conduct a careers night or a series of training evenings for new people to the industry. I encourage salespeople to go down this path as opposed to using a position vacant ad or employing ‘friends of friends’. By having numerous people attend an event you can identify the people who you think will fit the business, rather than wasting 10 interviews to find one good candidate.

Once the PA is in the business and their development is underway they need to know exactly  what tasks they are expected to perform. For example, once a new listing is brought in, the salesperson and the PA should both know which tasks they are allocated. Check lists made from the list of the salesperson’s tasks discussed earlier are crucial.

REWARD YOUR PA

Salespeople also need to measure the impact that a PA has on their business and reward them for improvements. I encourage salespeople to measure the number of phone calls they make and the number of appraisals and listings, not just gross commission written. Once you have these measured, you need to work out an incentive scheme. Will the PA be rewarded for the number of appraisals in a month? What will be the reward? Challenges are a great way to reward PAs; for example, if the business lists 10 auctions this month there will be lunch and shopping interstate. Have fun with rewards – they don’t need to be purely financial.

Putting a PA on isn’t scary; it’s exciting, because your business is about to explode!

Chris Watson

Show More

Guest Contributors

If you would like to become a Guest Contributor to Elite Agent Magazine please visit eliteagent.com/contribute