I recently partnered with a new guy to schedule my leads for me. He has done such a great job that I have had to adjust my organizational system to...
Are you Accountable?
If you are not accountable to someone else with your numbers each day, you will not achieve your full potential. I know this is a tough statement, but I believe it more and more every day. Let me ask you a question: Who knows how many businesses you went into today? For that matter, who […]
If you are not accountable to someone else with your numbers each day, you will not achieve your full potential. I know this is a tough statement, but I believe it more and more every day. Let me ask you a question: Who knows how many businesses you went into today? For that matter, who knows if you even went to work at all today? If the answer to this question is “Just me,” I doubt you worked a full 8 hour day or even 6 hour day in the field. You probably went out for a few hours, went to some follow-up appointments, and then headed back to the office, maybe dropping off your card at one new business along the way. I have worked very hard over the last decade to develop my character and discipline, and you know what I have found? I don’t have enough character to succeed; I have to be accountable to others. And so do you. Pick someone you know will tell you the truth; provide a realistic goal sheet that you set for yourself; and email them the following numbers at the end of each day:
-Hours worked compared to the weekly schedule you prepared and sent them on Monday.
-Number of new businesses you went into compared to your goal.
-Number of face to face meetings you had with a business owner compared to your goal.
–Number of new statements you got for the week compared to your goal.
-Number of sales you made month to date and week to date compared to your goal.
Track all of these numbers using a spreadsheet with a list of business names. Enter a “1” in columns to the right of the business name for “Walked In,” “Met Owner,” “Got Statement,” and “Sale.” Then create a new tab or spreadsheet for each week. You may ask, “why should I do that?” The answer, “So you can’t cheat!”
There have been many times I wanted to tell my counselor, “I visited ten new businesses today!” However, I know the response would be, “Which ones?… let me see the list?” …Ooops!!! I know, I know… you’re perfect and would never do this. But I’m human; I make mistakes; I try to make myself look better than I really am and so… I need accountability.
This person to whom you are accountable could be a spouse, a friend, a pastor or another senior adviser. He or she doesn’t have to understand the industry, but has to be willing to look at your numbers each day and say, “Good Job!!” or ask, “Why?” Be careful in your selection. If you are good at sales, some of your friends and even your spouse might be pacified with some smooth sales talk such as, “It was just a rough day out there; I couldn’t find any good businesses to go to,” etc. But there is someone you know who can see right through your sales pitch. This person will not be afraid to ask, “Why didn’t you work today?” Or, “How are you going to adjust your performance for the rest of the week to make up for this shortfall?”
If you would like me to fill this role, it is one thing that I love doing for reps. I actually have several reps that utilize my time for accountability. We have a shared Excel spreadsheet with goals created by them where each day they enter their results. We have a phone appointment once per week to review these numbers together. I am not afraid to ask the tough questions and help them revise their plan for the month when they fall short of a goal. Again, your person doesn’t have to be me, but I was out in the field every day. I know what is and is not a realistic goal. So if you do put together a goal sheet, send it over to me, and I would be glad to give you my thoughts.
Final thought: Too many people get into business or independent sales because they do not like the structure of employment. That can be good to a point; I like setting my own schedule and my own goals. The problem comes when I don’t set a schedule at all or when I refuse to be accountable to anyone other than myself. If you trust yourself, you don’t know yourself very well.
I know myself well enough to know I can’t trust myself. If you want to succeed, make yourself accountable to other people who will hold you accountable to plans you set for yourself. Being self-employed is about setting your own goals and setting your own schedule. However, that doesn’t do you any good if you don’t hit your goals and keep your schedule. Unless you have ten times the discipline I have, you need someone else to provide accountability if you are going do what you know you should do. As always, contact me with any questions.
James Shepherd firstname.lastname@example.org
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