Personal Assistants - A Guide for Managers
Questions to asked of Sales Staff putting on Personal Assistants
The majority of Sales staff have no real idea of the why, what and how of having a PA. They do not understand the ramifications of having to manage, train and develop a PA, furthermore they have no real idea of what the PA is going to bring to their business.
As a general rule there are 3 types of PA's; all with different skill sets.
Administrative PA: this PA handles all the paperwork of the Salesperson, they co-ordinate the authority, photography, marketing placement, contracts and contract exchanges. They are NOT involved in sales or prospecting, by their very role they would not be as customer centric as the sales orientated PA.
Selling PA: this PA handles all buyer inquiries, inspections, preparation for OFI's and auctions
Prospecting PA: primary purpose is to generate appraisals for the Salesperson, obviously there would be some overlap with the selling PA however the Prospecting PA must be prepared to do the hard prospecting tasks such as door knocking and the rejection that usually accompanies these prospecting activities.
Why does a Salesperson employ a PA?
The majority of Salespersons reason is that they feel they are too busy and need someone to ease the load. This is the wrong reason to employ a PA.
The right reason for the employment of a PA is that the salesperson is, say generating around $300K of gross commission from their own efforts (not gifts from a rent roll) and want to transform their business to be a $600K business. The numbers of course would vary - some salesperson's understand the role a PA can play and put one on within their first 6 months.
Before allowing a Salesperson to put on a PA you should require them to provide some or all of the following:
- Detailed Business Plan for THEIR Business - I have a format that is tailored for Salesperson that has a PA mindset.
- Detailed reasons that convince YOU that the PA will increase their business, this will include a training plan, job description, goals and targets applicable to both the PA and the Salesperson.
- Selection criteria for the PA - attributes, requirements and skill set including customer interface skills.
- Detailed costing of the PA cost - must include ALL costs, annual leave, LSL, workers Comp insurance, Payroll tax as well as a desk fee for the PA (after all you have to provide a desk phone etc.). This will enable them to understand that the PA is a cost to them - not to you.
- The process they will put in place to manage, train and develop the PA and, eventually replace the PA as the PA outgrows their role.
- Managing the PA must include regular performance reviews that should be signed off by yourself - a checking process that ensures that they are being managed correctly; it also ensures that the PA ultimately knows that the buck stops with you as the Principal.
Once you have the answers to these, and that you require is done, then, and only then will you have confidence that the PA will be an asset to the business and more importantly eventually become a Salesperson in their own right and give value back to you, the Agency Principal.