Archive for the ‘Performance’ Category

What causes sales?

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When I pay attention to the kind of activity that really gets results, I am certain the key metric to focus on is “meaningful conversations”. The TrainerTainment sales definition of a meaningful conversation is: An encounter with a guest or potential buyer that results in a solid “next step”.

Next steps are:

  1. A booking
  2. A follow-up appointment with a date and time
  3. New information that helps the sales representative understand who the decision maker is
  4. A tour or center visit is scheduled
  5. The buyer is clear that you should never call them again (my next step here is to either find someone else to talk with or simply mark them off my list)

So, if meaningful conversations cause sales, then I am going to be obsessive about reaching my meaningful conversations goal each day. It’s so important that I don’t want to look at it on a weekly basis. I must focus daily and I’m sure that I’m not that different than most salespeople. My ultimate goal in sales is to create new business. New business comes from knowing what the next step is with each encounter.

When it comes to group sales, I know you are fielding a number of inbound calls on a daily basis. Here’s the measurement tool that can keep you get on track to book between 15-25 group events per week. When you are relentless about making sure you create those next-step-conversations with at least three people per day, you can be in the good category (this might help you get by, but you’ll never thrive). At six per day, you definitely move into the “better” category. When you consistently reach the ten meaningful conversations per day, you will begin to see the 15-25 bookings per week that you are looking for.

I’d love to have your email at the end of each day with a subject line that says either:

  • Good (3-5) meaningful conversations today
  • Better (6-9)
  • Best (10)
  • EXCELLENT

Every day you are above ten meaningful conversations, you can move into the superstar category! Of course, I would also love to know the dollar amount of business you close each day as well.

It’s those tiny little habitual habits that make the biggest difference. Decide what category you want to be in each day… do whatever it takes to make sure you get what you want out of the day. Make one more call. I can’t wait to see what we do this year. I’m serious about sending me a daily email with the subject line of Good, Better, Best, EXCELLENT!

Reprinted from Pin Point© a newsletter published by Sparez Davie

Commitment, Priority, & Accountability: The BIG 3

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Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about these three big concepts. It’s logical to understand that nothing much gets done if there is no commitment to doing it. So, in my mind commitment comes first. However, I bet you’ve committed to do something you didn’t do. I know I have. That’s where prioritizing the commitment comes into play. Honestly, I thought that was it. I know now that public accountability plays a big role in accomplishing the most challenging things.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean. When I make a commitment to meet with someone on the phone, at their office, for lunch…I prioritize that commitment by putting it on the calendar. It’s very rare that I would not honor that kind of agreement.

In my mind, that strategy would work for anything. I decide what it is I want to do (commitment), put it on the calendar (priority), and then it is so. However, the reality contradicts that theory in a big way. In my lifetime, I have made a lot of commitments and scheduled many appointments with myself to do things like go to the gym, write the book, eat seven fruits and vegetables daily, make ten sales calls, send one thank you card three times per week, call a friend, connect with a family member who’s out of town, and so on, and haven’t actually followed through at all.

Those commitments and the priority of the obligations I made to myself aren’t always honored at the same level as those prioritized commitments I make to others. By now you are probably thinking of a therapist you want to recommend. Hang tight, though. I’m getting to the point.

I’m pretty sure I’m pretty human. In the last 258 days, I’ve learned a giant lesson regarding accountability. What I’ve found is that when you sprinkle a little “accountability to others” in with prioritized commitments, you wind up with a recipe for real success. This is fact. Over the last 258 days, I’ve adopted a “whatever it takes” attitude to make sure I get 10,000 steps per day in the first 100 days and 12,000 in the last 158 days. My experience is that if this had been a commitment to me only, then I could not have written the previous sentence. Honestly, I do not know what compelled me to post my daily step goal on Facebook. I do know that the results indicate that about walking, accountability to others motivated me more than the hundreds of times I committed to me only.

For me, putting something out there as a public commitment made a huge difference in my ability to perform. I’ve discovered that daily exercise is no easy thing. What is easier is honoring my word to others. Maybe I do need a little therapy about honoring my word to myself! Humans are wonderful justifiers, especially if the justification is just in our head.

So, in conclusion, if you know there is something that could make a big difference in your life, and you keep NOT doing it…I encourage you to make the commitment publicly, prioritize the commitment, and then be accountable to communicate your progress to someone else.

I Didn’t Even Notice I Reached My Goal!

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During a recent daily walk, I noticed I had gotten all the way to Starbucks (about 2 miles) and nearly back home and had not checked my Fitbit once to see how many steps I’d taken. It was fascinating because I used to be pretty obsessive about checking how many steps I had for the day and how much more I would have to walk to reach the goal. Was I getting the job done? What else will it take?  How much more time would I need to put in? Obsessive is the right word. I never do anything a little bit.

It was interesting, though, because, after 165 days of being pretty relentless about making sure I got the job done, I found I didn’t need to check to see where was. I had the confidence to know what I was doing would give me the results I was looking for. I know what I have to do to spend the time it takes to make sure all the steps are made. I know what happens if I don’t take care of it early in the day. I still have to get the job done but it’s a lot harder in the evening.

This got me thinking about the correlation between my walking life and real work. At our company, you know we’re focused on helping the people we work with sell more and lead their businesses at a high level. When coaching others, we are obsessed with having the right score with the right measurements to understand if and when the job is getting done. Are we taking the right steps to get the results we seek? (Pun intended!)

In selling, one of those big daily steps winds up being how many meaningful conversations you have with a potential buyer. A meaningful conversation only counts when you have a next step with someone. Next steps are defined as:

  • You set a follow-up appointment with a time or date.
  • You booked an event.
  • You learned you weren’t talking to a decision-maker but got the right name and set an appointment with yourself to follow up.
  • The potential buyer told you to buzz off so you marked them off your list and added someone new.

When you figure out your ultimate goal (how many events you need to book in order to have the sales you want), you can better understand how many meaningful conversations you must have. By the way, you also have to understand what your close ratio is. It’s simple math. When I have X number of meaningful conversations, I close Y number of parties/events which = $XXXXX.XX.

So, the BIG goal (the ultimate sales number) is like my 12,000 steps each day. In order to make that happen, I have to put one foot in front of the other 12,000 times. It doesn’t matter if I run or walk or stroll or get up every hour and make sure I move. I have to take it literally one step at a time every day.

If it takes you 50 meaningful conversations in a week to book 25 events (50% closing ratio), then you better be having NO less than ten or more meaningful conversations each day. I personally would bump that up 20% (12) just to be sure. AND I would get that done earlier in the day since everything is harder late in the day. I promise that sometime after 65 days in a row of being relentless in your pursuit, you’ll look up and think WOW! I didn’t even check and I’ve already reached my goal for the day!

When that happens, maybe you can break for lunch and walk to Starbucks and also reach your step goal!

Taking It One Step at a Time

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Have you ever tried to force yourself to do something you know you need to do? I hear people talk about having the willpower and the discipline to make one more sales call, lose weight, start a new job, write a book, take a walk, talk to a girl or boy you want to go out with, etc. and yet I find the willpower to be an elusive concept. My experience is that willpower fades easily when you want to do anything else besides the thing you are trying to will yourself to do. Discipline works the same way. I am very disciplined right up until when I am not.

Commitment

For me, commitment and priority seem to be the real key. And it works in that order – commitment first and then priority to fulfill the commitment. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

You see, I can do a ton of things. On a daily basis, I take care of my family, the business, even a neighbor, if needed. The thing I haven’t done well is take care of my health. I’ve struggled with this weight thing most of my adult life. I’ve tried every program, read every book, and lost hundreds of pounds only to find them again on another day. This might sound like a familiar story to you.

About 85 days ago, I decided that one of the challenges related to my weight loss efforts is that I rarely stick with anything long enough to get a sustainable result. In casual conversation, one day a friend of mine talked about my “diet du jour” mindset. It’s true. I find the motivation and willpower to start a new program. It’s easy when it’s new. There’s hope and excitement about getting started. And then…the motivation fades and the willpower gets all used up in the first few days. It’s a vicious cycle that tears away at the discipline it might take to stick to the program even one more day.

With that lack of “stick with it” awareness, I knew I needed to commit to something that was longer than a 10 day this or a 21 day that. I’m also aware that my travel life can wreck routine, which also takes me off track. But my travel life can’t be an excuse.

Giving it 100%

There are plenty of people who travel and don’t suffer from obesity. Out of the blue, I thought about the next 100 days. I can’t say exactly why 100 days came to mind. I think maybe I was thinking of giving “it” 100%. Anyway, I decided one thing I could do whether I’m traveling or not is walk. Humans are designed to walk 5-10 miles a day. I have several tracking devices because, of course, during any one of my “diet du jour” moments I knew I needed to add exercise, so over the years I’ve bought pedometers, smart watches, heart monitors, and anything that would tell me how many steps or calories I’m burning and more. Honestly, if what I knew about diet and exercise mattered even a little bit, I’d be super model thin! Knowledge has not been power for me with this particular situation.

Here’s what I decided. I know it’s going to take more than 100 days to get to a healthy goal weight. It’s going to take at least one year. That knowledge always screws with my willpower and discipline. So, I decided I could make a commitment for 100 days.

It is not scientifically true that it takes only 21 days to build a habit. That’s a gimmick. The science says at about day 66 real habit begins to form. No wonder I couldn’t get locked in and find real lasting results. I committed to walking 10,000 steps 100 days in a row. I made it one day and then missed day two and started over. I walked two days and missed day three. On that day, I joined Jenny Craig. That’s one of the programs I had not tried. It’s working well. On try three, I took that commitment and began to prioritize the walk.

As of this writing, I’m on day 82. I’m very excited about completing this 100 days and committing to 12,000 steps during the next 100 days. It’s been difficult. I was extremely sore for the first three weeks. I had to walk two or three times a day to get all the steps in. That felt miserable. However, once I got past day four, then five… on to seven and for sure at day ten, I did not want to start over. The success of each day “fed” the next day and is supporting the completion of the goal.

Why do I share this?

Why do I share this? There are a couple of reasons. One, I think there are things everyone faces that hold them back. There’s some kind of magic about this 100-day commitment and I am compelled to share it with you. I don’t have the science of anything more than my own experience but I want to encourage you that if you can commit to whatever it is that you know will make you better, happier, richer, calmer, healthier, have more fun… whatever it is and then just go for it, I believe something BIG can happen for you.

It sounds so simple or maybe even trite. But it is BIG. There’s something magic for me about putting one foot in front of the other one day at a time. I have to block about 90 minutes to make sure 10,000 steps happen daily. I prioritize the walk time before I start my day and usually take a short walk at the end of the day.

I listen to music and read by listening to Audible. I’ve read or been read to a ton in the last 82 days. I am able to feed myself spiritually, mentally, and physically. A commitment is baseless without prioritizing it. Giving the steps top priority each day has strengthened my resolve in other areas. Understanding that I can make commitments to myself and keep them has given me a strength I was unaware of. I want you to have that.

Thank You

Second, I want to say thank you. Many of you have watched this journey on Facebook. I hesitated to post daily but found that it was a super way to hold myself accountable. In our leadership training, we talk a ton about performance management. I believe that I’ve reinforced my own learning of what we teach by checking in each day on Facebook.

Here’s what happens. In our leadership training, we talk about the ABCs of performance management.  There’s the A (all the things that happen before you put a team member to work… job description, orientation, on the job training, etc.) It’s like all the reading I’ve done about health and fitness. Then there’s the B (behavior). Your team member does the job. With my walking, the job is to get the 10,000 steps a day. Now the C comes into play. This is the Consequence or reinforcement regarding the behavior. The reinforcement works and I’ve watched that in a BIG way each day and have been surprised and amazed at just how much it impacts my own behavior.

Early on, I posted very late one night… I nearly forgot. It must have been day seven or eight. A close friend reached out and texted me, “Did you get your steps in today?” You see, someone was watching. Someone I cared about. That mattered a lot to me. I quickly posted and haven’t forgotten since then.

I hope you are making the team member correlation. Some might even say that was negative reinforcement. He checked in because I had not completely done my job that day. Although I had completed my steps, I had not posted the results. All the other reinforcement has been incredibly positive. I receive encouragement on a daily basis. Other people have made walking commitments and are posting their results on my page! I love that.

I know this article is longer than we normally post but I believe there is such an important message here. Find something you know you need to or want to do. Identify that thing you know could make a big difference in your life. Make one small commitment. Make it something you know you can do that will move you one step closer. And then do it for 100 days. See what happens. It might take you two or three times like it did me. You might be able to get after it and stay after it from day one.

All I know is that anything we do or want to do must be done one step at a time. When the commitment to take the first step is real, then the priority to follow through is easier than trying to force yourself through willpower and discipline.

I hope you’ll take the time to share your experiences, questions, and thoughts about this newsletter on our blog.

Are You Putting All Your Eggs in one Basket?

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When you or your sales people are making outbound calls or going to sell outside of the center, how many different types groups are you contacting? Are you putting all your eggs in one basket and just focusing on one group of schools, daycares or large businesses?

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

As people, we do not like to step out of our comfort zone.  I know that I excel at marketing, social media, and training, but I don’t think I am great at selling. So like many of us, we typically just stick to what we know we are great at, but to be the best, we must work on the areas that are not our strengths. For me, I try to practice selling anytime I can. Whether it is trying to sell my husband on something I want, role playing with colleagues or clients, or really, just practicing selling to anyone who will just listen to me. But the key is that I step out of my comfort zone, I don’t put all my skills in one basket, I get out there and sell, and as Nike says I “Just Do It.”

We see so many times that sales teams that put all their eggs in one basket and sell to just schools, or daycares, or big businesses. It’s normal for people to stick to what they know and what is comfortable to them but how much more successful could sales teams be if they spread their base and get out of their comfort zone?

Planning for the Future

Think of it this way, when we are planning for our financial future, we typically split up our investment. If we are smart,  will invest most of our money in areas that are safe but may not have a high return. Then we put a little bit in an area that may be risky, but it gives us a higher return on our investment. The point is no financial advisor would ever tell you to put all your money in one area, and sales should be the same way. It’s time to think out of the box when it comes to sales and who we are reaching out to. If you have just focused your time and effort on schools and daycares, think about reaching out to companies for summer picnics, team building events, meetings or company parties. If you spend most of your time on companies, think about reaching out to sports teams, daycares, or get a jump on schools.

The point is not to place your sales eggs in one basket.  If you continue to do so, you are at a high risk of losing over time. Spread your time in different markets and find that balance of selling to those that are in our safety net and those that might be a higher risk to book. The place you haven’t been selling just might be the place you get the biggest return!