A recent survey showed most of us spend less than 4% of our time interacting with a customer or potential customers.
According to Peter Sheehan, a leading expert on generational change and business performance it is time to get back in touch with the importance of the relationships you have with the customer. Highly protect the one thing that can never be outsourced: the relationship you have with the customer.
The challenge in today’s high tech world: “stop thinking in terms of how you interact less with the customer, and start thinking about how you interact more with the customer.
In the next 24 hours, keep a rough journal of your activities. At the end of the period, estimate the following things:
1. For the time spent on customer service related activities what percentage was focused internally on administrative non-customer related items? What percentage was spent putting out fires?
2. What percentage was focused externally on customers? What time was spent making a genuine connection and building your relationship with your customers and staff?
A study of a large agent group indicated time spent as follows:
4% client interaction
14% misc. activities
13% cell phone
12% web-based activities
This exercise gives you some very powerful insights into where you spend your time and offer some ideas on where you might refocus it moving forward.
Happy Monday. Have you ever been too busy to stop and get gas? How did that work out for you?
As we start the week, can you relate to this story:
Once upon a time, there was a strong, ambitious young woodcutter who needed work. She traveled to the nearest timber merchant and asked if she could secure a job. The timber merchant could sense the woman was a hard worker and decided to give her an opportunity. “Meet me here tomorrow at daybreak,” the merchant said.
The young woman arrived the next morning where the merchant led her to a dense patch of trees in the nearby forest. “Chop down as many trees as you can today and meet me just before sunset.” The young woman chopped down 18 trees that day. The merchant was impressed. “Well done!” he said, “You are the best woodcutter we have!”
The next day the young woman returned, feeling even more motivated. Her muscles were sore but her ambition was strong. She chopped down 15 trees the second day. On the third day, the young woman arrived before daybreak and stayed until she could barely see the tree she was chopping down. She cut down only 9 trees that day. This pattern continued over the coming week.
“I must be losing my strength,” the young woman thought to herself.
The next week her boss met her in the early morning hours and told her she was fired. The young woman was upset and scared about her future. But she knew she worked as hard as she could and just didn’t have enough time to chop more trees. Her head hanging low, she handed her axe back to the timber merchant. The merchant took one look at the axe and said, “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” “Sharpen my axe?” the young woman replied, “I’ve been too busy trying to cut down enough trees to sharpen my axe.”
I’m curious… can you relate? If so, how can you sharpen your axe this week? Consider this:
Abe Lincoln’s productivity secret was to use sharper tools to get the job done more efficiently. He said: “If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” Lincoln, who was a skilled woodcutter before becoming one of the most important presidents in US history, probably meant this both literally and figuratively. Inefficient tools waste your energy. It’s better to spend the majority of your time finding and cultivating the best tools for any task.
If you have 10 minutes, you might consider investing in watching this classic video from Stephen Covey on big rocks and little rocks… no endorsement of the YouTube channel here, it’s just the only one we could find that still has this classic video. It’s worth your time, watch it!
I love this time of year… a time of reflection and redirection. A time where everyone is just a little bit kinder, gentler and more giving. As we enter the last 2 weeks of the year, I trust your kindness will be known to all. That others will pay it forward to you and you will pay it forward to others.
Speaking with so many of you, your business plans are ready… you are reflecting on what worked, what didn’t and the adjustments you will make in the New Year. Here is what I know from working with agents, teams, and brokerage business plans over the last 7 years. 6 mistakes you can avoid, 6 things you should double check on your 2019 plan:
One – Most of us are not thinking BIG enough, if your plan is too comfortable it’s probably too small. Everyone reading this – and has the desire – can DOUBLE their business in 2019.
Two – Not being very clear on where the business is coming from today – and how you will continue or expand that – AND the few TESTS you will do each 90 days to create new sources of business in the new year.
Three – Doing more of the same thing and expecting a different result.
Four – Not breaking down the details to a DAILY ACTION
Five – Not having the leading and lagging indicators UP and VISUAL
Six – Not being clear on the benefits – the why – and what happens when you do or don’t achieve the outcome.
Creating a 90-Day Hustle
The point of a 90-day hustle is that it stops you from focusing on all your goals for the year. Instead, the 90-day hustle allows you to take your goals for the year and then break them down into 90-day stretches, 30-day stretches, 2-week sprints and finally DAILY ACTIVITIES.
STEP 1: Review your goals
Research shows your goals should be no more than 3 (major ones) for an entire 12-month period, and then you’ll break down those goals into all the steps needed to achieve them… those become part of your 90-day stretches.
Take your business plan, look at what your main goals are for the next 12 months and then think about how you’re going to break them down into smaller chunks, so achieving them is just a little easier.
Make sure your plan is consistent with your goals and avoids the 6 biggest mistakes outlined earlier.
If you need help coming up with a more concrete plan or aren’t really too sure what you want to focus on, then I’d recommend using this workbook by Amber McCue. It costs a few bucks yet well worth it… it’s called “Fresh Start” and many people call it a secret weapon for planning out the year.
STEP 3: Put it all together into a 90-day hustle!
Once you’ve reviewed your goals and your strategic plan, think about the first three months of 2019 and what you want to focus on to achieve your 2-3 main overarching goals.
Pick 1-3 steps to focus on for the next 90 days. Don’t try to do it all. Less is MORE.
In fact, research shows you shouldn’t be doing any more than 3 main things over the next 90 days. Less is more and proven.
Break these down further into daily, 2 week and 30-day stretches. You should end up with 30 day, 60 day and then 90 day’s worth of goals. Consider using an APP like PRODUCTIVITY to get accountability on daily actions.
Include all the nitty-gritty details in your 90-day hustle. Work backward… start with your overall goal for the next 90 days and then break this down into all the steps you need to take to achieve it. Don’t forget to schedule in your downtime, family time and charity obligations. Then SCHEDULE IT. You can then create all your to-do tasks as well and add them to your Google Calendar.
So there you have it, 6 checkpoints to validate your business plan and a format for a 90 day hustle.
I’m often asked, Mark what should I add to my business? Consider this: always be testing… pick 1 promising idea (grove it) and then considering adding another promising idea every 90 days.
Have you considered testing:
• A consistent process to re-working previous leads from ALL sources?
• More Personalization in everything you do? (We are in a relationship business, yes?!)
• More use of VIDEO? (Community and local business highlights)
• Leveraging BUYSIDE or Home Value models?
• Building your out of market referral network?
• Driving curious neighbors to open houses?
• On-line lead generation you control – FB, LinkedIn, Insta?
• Is this the year to wear a name badge or other branded swag?
• Leveraging or building your consumer REVIEWS?
• Becoming the HUB of all things in your area?
So, what is YOUR 90-day hustle going to look like?