Dose of Common Sense always works better than a Magic Wand
fun part of what I do is watching people grasp the simplest of realities.
They suddenly realise that Im not here today with a magic new
strategy or unique recipe that will suddenly make them successful.
Who would give that away if they had it?
They suddenly realise there isnt one. Well its not new
anyway. They often dont see it because it is so simple, and
how can simple things work that well?
The truth is that it works because it is simple.
People often ask me, what are the special ingredients that make some
people so successful? Let me put that in 5 lines.
1. They are passionate about their goals.
2. They have high energy levels.
3. They an ability to focus on what they know they have to do and
not be distracted by others.
4. They talk with more people
5. They have great skills when doing all that.
Now lets look at this in a very practical way and provide you
with a Menu of things you can select from. Have a read through the
following list of ideas that are currently in use now and see which
of them you are prepared to adopt for say a ninety day period.
If you were to take on-board 5 of these strategies and apply them
diligently and honestly for the next 90 days, you will surprise yourself
and everyone else, with the changes in your productivity.
If you have trouble managing yourself to maintain new disciplines
such as these, ask some one to monitor you and to tap you on the shoulder
when they see you wandering off track.
1. Go to Work an Hour earlier 3 days a week.
Yes dont go overboard, just 3 days a week. Go an hour earlier,
before all the people who waste and steal your time turn up and start
the ritual office gossiping. Its amazing what you can get done
without the phones ringing and other people disturbing you. What a
great time to get all that paperwork out of the way, so you can have
more of you day free to talk with people.
2. Once a Week take an Advocate to breakfast or coffee.
An advocate is someone who refers you business. They may be a past
client, someone who simply thinks you do a great job or an allied
professional where you refer to each other. Have they some of your
business cards and brochures? Are they referring people to you? If
you cant think of someone who is an advocate then target someone
and get them started working for you.
3. Join a Business Networking Group.
Whether its a community service club or a referral group like
the BNI Groups setting-up around New Zealand, you need to allocate
time each week to meet with people from other businesses where you
can set up a referral network . The ability to promote your business
to a group of business people who are all looking for referrals for
each other would have to be a productive use of your time.
4. Find a like minded associate and hold each other accountable.
Yes find some-one you trust who will work with you to assist in changing
the work-habits of both of you. Check in each day in person or by
fax or e-mail and show you have kept to your commitments.
Place a value on your commitment by writing a cheque to someone you
would not like to get it, post date it for 30, 60 or 90 days and hand
it to a stakeholder. If the stakeholder catches you not sticking to
your commitments then the cheque gets posted. If you were really committed
and maintained your self-discipline it wont be a problem will
5.Replace One Bad Habit
Yes take a look at your work practices and style and look at one habit
that you know is a problem
Could it be one of these?
Always late for appointments
Not returning phone calls
Late for training
Late with paperwork
Letting others interrupt you
Handling bits of paper more than once
Answering the phone during family mealtimes
Grabbing fast food lunches
Not doing enough exercise
No alcohol-free days
Not following up all clients
Of course there are a lot more. Which one is yours that you will fix?
What are the consequences for you if you dont fix it?
So what are the benefits if you do? If you can see the benefits are
worthwhile then how about making an action plan to fix it.
Imagine if you could fix one in the next 90 days and another in the
next. Imagine fixing 4 bad habits in 1 year! Could you handle the
positive consequences of that?
5. Make a Daily to Do List and Use It.
Now this is an old one. Whether its in your diary or Palm device
make a list every day of the key tasks you must complete, rank them
in importance and urgency and cold-bloodedly go about doing those
things. Celebrate each completion with a flourishing tick and move
to the next. The key here is to manage your focus and to make sure
that the time you spend at work is on work things.
Ask yourself; Am I at work today or just Visiting?
6. Go back through your diary
Now this one always pays off and quickly. Open your diary at a date
60 days ago an move forward to todays date. On the way write
down every name and phone number of the people you dont know
what has happened to, and ring them up.
If this doesnt bring you some candidates then go back further
and also grab all your old Open Home Sheets and start ringing.
7. Increase the number of phone calls you are making.
Of course you are already busy but the question is what is the value
of what you are doing. If one of the key strategies is to talk with
more people than we had better have a strategy that makes that happen.
So start making a record of the phone calls you are making. Most calls
will be about existing business with buyers, sellers and allied professionals.
But what about clients for future business? How long since some people
on your database have been contacted? How about staring with 10 extra
phone calls looking for new business on just 3 days a week?
Make an appointment in your diary on 3 days of the week, number 1-10
and start making the calls.
8. Invest in some Personal Promotion
Over 80% of salespeople have their business card as their only marketing
Select from this sample list and start distributing in your market
place and to your database.
Invitations to a client function
Put your colour photograph on everything you send out
Have a new photograph taken
Get a web page
Mail to your entire database monthly
Only distribute colour no more black and white!
There is a huge list of things you could do. Why not select one and
invest in promoting yourself in quality. Remember though that marketing
is not a 1 off promotion. Persistence with repetition are key elements
of any successful marketing programme.
9. Improve your Negotiation Skills
Of all the skills you need there are two that are well ahead of the
rest. Developing Empathy and Negotiation.
And Negotiation is the key!
Every time there is an opportunity to present your services and move
a product there comes a time when you have to do the negotiation.
Identifying and learning the key skills in negotiation are crucial
elements that make all the rest of the effort worthwhile. To develop
a great product and marketing plan is all wasted if at the end of
the day we cant negotiate the close of the transaction. Understanding
the strategies that make price, only, are the keys to making all the
difference to your success story.
10. Update and Rehearse your Sales Presentation
They say familiarity breeds contempt and all too often that applies
to the things we use everyday. When you sit in front of a client have
you got the best prepared, best looking and fully rehearsed Sales
Take a look at the material you are using and does it tell a story?
Has it got Success Stories and Testimonials in it? Has it got the
latest offerings from your business?
Is it a compelling sales story that would lead your clients to choose
you. Make sure you review and update your presentation material and
then rehearse it until you are simply superb.
So what will you do next?
Of course there are more exotic and technologically inspired ideas.
But these ones are all available to you right now. So it is only a
question of choosing which ones you will do isnt it?
Why not take a look at your normal week and see if there is some room
to do some of these simple strategies right now. For anyone who chooses
5 of these and finds the self-discipline and control to eliminate
some non-useful tasks (bad habits) and replace them with these, will
Why not select someone to help you? Find someone you trust and ask
them to assess with you, your 90 day plan and then get them to hold
you honest to your commitments.
That way it wont be the market that controls your income.