“Always Leveraging” means using technology and procedures / systems to get more done in less time and with less resources, but what does that actually mean? Here are a few thoughts I had this morning as I thought about my own local processing business and how our agent team could use this core value to grow their business.
#1 – You must have a personal organizational system that is simple and works for you. One of the most important things I did early on in this business was create an organizational system that really worked for me. When an organizational system works for you, you literally don’t have to think about it, you don’t have to try and remember anything, you just have a system that you trust.
If you want to learn more about my system or get some ideas, here is a webinar I did on the topic:
#2 – You must have a simple prospecting strategy that requires minimal decisions. One book that I am working through right now is “The Paradox of Choice” and it reinforces the idea that in order to be effective, you must limit the choices you make. The whole idea of “Always Leveraging” is really to only choose once. In other words, decide how you are going to prospect and then stick to that without making a decision every day or at every business. My strategy when I was in the field full time was simple. I went out 4 days per week 9am to 11am and then again from 1pm to 3pm. I had a list of streets in my city that had lots of businesses and I went from one to the next walking into every single business except large national chains. This allowed me to focus on my pitch and not have to decide which businesses I was going into.
When you are feeling demotivated it is amazing the poor decisions you can justify. “That business probably wouldn’t buy so I will not walk in there.” or “I doubt anyone on this street will buy, I should probably drive across town.” Both of these decisions are obviously illogical and the problem is that you are allowing yourself to make the decision in the first place. Just decide that you will work through a list of streets, one after the other and that you will walk into every single business.
One other prospecting tip. Draw a line between prospecting and follow up when you meet the owner. From 9 to 11 and 1 to 3, I did nothing but walk into businesses where I had not yet met the owner. Eventually, once I was getting a lot of referrals and leads from my website I only did the 1 to 3 time slot but I always made a clear distinction between prospecting and follow up. Once I met the owner, I did my follow up at another time if at all possible. A HUGE part of organization is managing your emotions, motivation and focus. Don’t manage your time, manage your energy, your motivation and your emotions. During my prospecting time, I would walk into a business on either side of a great follow up prospect without walking into the follow up because I wanted to keep my focus on prospecting, then when I was done with prospecting at 11am, I would go back over to that business and I would be focused on follow up. Now of course I couldn’t do that every time but I would try to keep these two things separate.
#3 – You must have the habit of taking action. There are two things you should be doing in your business. You should invest some time every so often making procedures, systems and choosing the direction of your company and life and then all the rest of the time, you should be taking action. Get in the habit of taking action rather than procrastinating. When you get a referral, just stop what you are doing and go talk to them right now. When you get an upset customer, take the call and then resolve the problem right now. When you get an email take action, don’t figure out how important it is just ask, “Is this important enough to take action on?” If it is, do it and if it is not, don’t do it.
#4 – Use technology as a way to make your procedures and systems more efficient. I think many of our agents assume that our “Always Leveraging” core value is about technology and that simply isn’t true. My first prospecting system was a legal pad that I used and it was about 6 months until I started using a CRM database. When I did start using a CRM database, I customized it to fit my legal pad system exactly. Technology is like money, it is a multiplier not a fixer. It is like gas in the tank, if you are going in circles and you punch the gas, you will just go in circles faster. You must first have a good direction and then you can hit the gas in order to get where you want to go faster. Don’t try to throw money or technology at your operational problems, they will only get more complex and difficult to fix. Procrastination is an emotional problem, a character problem and you cannot fix either of those with technology. Lack of passion and drive for your business is a major issue and no amount of money or technology can fix this problem. Once you have a good system in place, ask yourself, “How can I use technology to get this system automated or done more efficiently.”
I hope this short article motivates you to leverage your time and resources in order to get more done!
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