- Player: Kate Moodley
- Company: Discovery Consulting Services Bedfordview
- Accolades: Discovery’s top franchise in 2015
- Visit: katemoodley.co.za
Build up a good personal brand. So many people think that a brand is for today, forgotten tomorrow. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s an ongoing thing, and you never know when it will make all the difference.
A relationship that’s insignificant today could be extremely significant down the line, so treat every interaction through the lens of your brand: Who are you? What are you portraying? What are your values? And what should others expect of you? Consistency is key.
Understand the power of a good reputation
I was at Momentum for many years before I bought a Discovery franchise. My mandate from Discovery was simple: Grow the business. This could have been problematic. I had been selling one brand, now I’d moved to another. Which did I represent? How would clients view the switch? It worked out fine.
I had built up a strong personal brand and my clients trusted me. I’d also never disrespected either brand as I believe there is enough room in the market for both, and that different products suit different needs. With this attitude I’ve grown the business from 80 clients to 300. Remember, it takes a lifetime to build up a reputation, and an instant to destroy it.
Your brand is your business and your employees represent that brand
If their value system is in conflict with your brand, they won’t stay, and if they do, they’re doing immeasurable harm to your business out in the market. What are your values? Are they clear? What are your employees following? Your team mimics what you do and who you are, so what are you showing them? You can’t act in one way but expect your team to behave in another.
For example, I’ve got a very good work ethic. I deal with queries promptly, I’m responsive to emails and I set dedicated time aside to work on business strategy. I expect the same from my team, but I lead by example.
I find this is important for two reasons. First, we’re in a sales environment. My team needs to know all of their products extremely well. If anyone is more familiar or comfortable with one product, that’s what they pitch.
This means the client won’t receive the best value, because the product being offered isn’t necessarily the best solution for them. It’s therefore important to be well-versed in all products. In order to ensure my team is receiving the full spectrum of training, I need to know where their gaps lie.
This starts with regularly sitting in on sales calls, and being approachable. My team knows to come to me with any questions, big or small. This is how I keep my finger on the pulse. Remember, knowledge is power. The more you have, the more confident and capable you’ll be.
I hate micro-managing people
To create an environment where I don’t need to check diaries, I’ve put systems in place. First, I have a great relationship with clients. They call me directly if they’re unhappy.
Second, I employ self-starters; young, ambitious individuals who are hungry to succeed. Employing people straight out of varsity and investing more in their training has worked well for us.
Third, I’m transparent, with zero tolerance for nonsense. If someone doesn’t pitch for training, we have an open discussion about why. They’re not accountable to me alone behind a closed door, but to the whole team.
Finally, we run the team as though each person is a director who is fully accountable for what they bring to the table. Discovery has a penetration system where targets are set and penalties levied if you don’t meet the targets. We take that penalty as a team.
The team commits to what they will do in a month to meet (and exceed) the target, making them all accountable to each other. If the target seems off, they challenge each other. The principles of entrepreneurship are instilled across the organisation.
We’re not clock-watchers; we’re output driven.
Find ways to create incredibly loyal employees
We have a very low staff turnover. I expect a lot from my team, but I’m also willing to give a lot. Autonomy is very important to the people I hire, and I give them the space to self-manage. Another example is flexibility with moms.
They can work from home if their child is sick, or bring babies to the office. It seems like a distracton, but the reality is that my team will do a lot to ensure they keep these privileges, and so it works.
Success is all about self-discipline
If you embrace the fact that you are fully accountable for your business and actions daily, you will be successful. I did an exercise with my team. I asked them to take their income and divide it by days and then by hours.They now had a figure to place on the time they wasted on things that don’t add value. For example, anyone on my team can take a long lunch because I’m not monitoring them. But what did that cost them in lost revenue?
To maximise your time, plan your day
I don’t have a day that’s unplanned. I’m continuously looking for ways to take myself and the business to the next level. The more you develop yourself, the greater your chance of success.
Warren Buffet sets a daily target of how many pages he will read — and sticks to it.
If one of the richest men in the world can still take the time for self-development, I should certainly be doing the same.
Set daily and weekly targets for yourself. Success is what you make it, so start putting the right disciplines in place today.