Friday, June 3, 2011

KeFactors Friday: Qualities of a Good Project Manager (PM)

For many salespeople, the selling cycle doesn't stop once the purchase order is issued.
Salespeople must then shepherd the project forward to completion. Projects that go well strengthen relationships with customers and lead to future sales. Projects that bump along from start to finish cause the customer to question your expertise and their decision to buy. To please the client, what does it take?

• Know how to set expectations, understand quality standards and know how quality is quality is achieved. (This also means you understand “quality does not equal perfection”).

• You must be knowledgeable about the skills and capabilities of others in the production process so that work is appropriately delegated (square pegs to square holes).You understand that he’s working with professionals (not children or criminals) and that production process parts are interdependent.

• Be fearless about asking questions, and persist in hammering out process and alternative process details, especially when tensions are running high, and people are impatient to leave the discussion, or to gloss over details, in their effort to escape unpleasantness.

• Be prepared to handle contingencies — “if this happens, then we’ll do that” — always holding Plan B (C, D, or E) in readiness.

• Clients love organized and efficient salespeople who pride themselves on maintaining those skills and habits. By nature of the job, a salesperson/project manager has to be more organized than anyone else because he/she maintains overview on all jobs, and thus all details—especially those emphasized by the client.

• Strong project management depends upon excellent analytical skills—skilled at deconstructing project concepts to block out production needs, good with details, vigilant with evolving expenses, and understands that every detail has an attached cost within your company.

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