People and The Reps They Need

repetition for familiarity

If you have any kind of vision, there’s a picture in your head of the things you should be doing. We can idealize how our business should run or how customers should respond.

The picture in our heads is great and necessary. It helps motivate us and keeps us focused on making reality bend to our efforts. And if you are feeling frustration that the revenue is not flowing or your team is not aligning, then it may be less about your vision and more about the timing, especially when it comes to people.

Sure, if you are working on automation, then you can tweak algorithms and iterate quickly. It’s logic and that sterile world works because rules reign and govern what happens next.

But people management is different. I often have to remind myself that most people want to do their best at something. But what is in their head may not be clear. Or they need repetition to become familiar with a process. And we don’t like things that are unfamiliar or unknown. It takes a brave soul to wander into ambiguous territory and figure things out.

The reps help create familiarity and refinement. This is true whether you are trying to deliver consistency in your customer service or have thorough follow-up with sales prospects. They all require reps and with reps, you become more efficient over time.

The problem is that you have to be comfortable with the failure and discovery process as you are ramping up. People don’t move as fast as software. And with some roles, you may want to fully automate when the hassle of people and inconsistency becomes too painful as McDonald’s did.

But, if the human touch and nuance is that important, then grin and bear it. You can’t avoid the reps. You just need talented people that will clue into the vision you set. Now the burden becomes yours and how clear your head is on where you are trying to head.

If you find yourself frustrated with people, step back and realize you either have a vision problem or expectations fallacy.