The transition from Negotiator to Manager is one of the biggest challenges in the estate agency profession. It requires a complete change in thinking. Overnight, you go from being in control of your own destiny to having your performance rating determined by the results other people produce.
In fact, the more successful you are as a negotiator, the more difficulty you will have in the transition. Successful negs-turned-managers have a very hard time giving up the things that made them successful in their original job.
Here are the five biggest mistakes new managers make and our tips to fix them.
- Thinking more like a buddy than a boss
A good buddy is someone who is a friend to you during both good times and bad. A good boss is someone very different. A good boss should praise positive achievers and reprimand negative performance. It is this transition from good guy to bad guy that many new managers find difficult. Especially when they were a peer to the negotiators previously.
The fix: Remind yourself that you are there to be a leader. Be upfront in explaining your decisions —and learn to live with decisions that are not popular with your team. Be clear about and enforce the consequences if people do not comply.
- Follow your instincts and keep selling (which prevents team development)
This is a vicious cycle. When a new manager keeps selling rather than focusing on teaching others how to sell, sales team results seldom measure up to expectations. The new manager then gets more pressure from above to increase sales and interprets that as a calling to do even more personal selling. But that just demoralises people because they think they’re not good enough in the management’s eyes… and customers think the negotiator calling on them must not be very good if the manager has to keep stepping in. So sales decline further.
The fix: Just stop. If you notice a neg making a mistake with customers, bite your tongue. Resist the temptation to step in. Instead, figure out how to develop their skills so they won’t make the same mistake next time around.
- Overly trusting of your negs’ sales forecasts
Previously as a negotiator, you became accustomed to making or exceeding your personal sales forecasts. Now, as a manager, you might tend to be overly optimistic and highly trusting of your negs’ sales forecasts. Big mistake.
The fix: Ask more probing questions of the team about their important sales opportunities in order to recognise problems with deals and forecasts sooner. Timely intervention by you is crucial for getting opportunities back on track. One of our clients favourite probing questions to ask a neg is: “What actions has this customer taken which have led you to your forecast of this deal?”
- Being a reactive fire-fighter
New managers often perform the role of an administrative assistant to the team where negotiators rush to hand over their problems to their manager. That take-charge mentality possessed by new managers leads them to get involved in many problems that can and should be resolved by others.
The fix: The next time a member of your team says, “Hey boss, we have a problem I need to share with you.” You say simply – “So….what do you think you should do about it?”
- Underestimating poor performance issues
New managers are often tempted to give underperformers the benefit of the doubt. If you back off of dealing with a poor performer, you’re sending a message that poor performance is acceptable.
The fix: Dealing with performance issues NOW gives the under-performer a chance to correct the situation before it comes so bad that their job is on the line. A bad month can be tolerated, but a bad year cannot.
If you are interested in getting more advise on this subject please feel free to give us a call on 0207 801 6318. Or if you are Negotiator looking to make the step into a Manager position we can discuss the options available to you.
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