There is a famous parable that goes something like this: Every morning on the African plains, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle—when the sun rises, you had better be running.
Things are constantly in motion, the world keeps moving, and we must learn to be aware of what’s going on around us. Observational skills can greatly improve your chances of success.
We live in a very competitive society and in order to succeed it takes drive, ambition, education and a great deal of luck. A lot of us become so overwhelmed by the pressures of life that we feel we take one step forward and two steps back. This often happens because too much is being thrown at us to accomplish, so that we can’t seem to get hold of things. Hence, nothing gets done right.
The truth is we can learn to manage our time so that we can accomplish great things even if our plate is full. We can learn techniques to remove the clutter from our lives and go through the day energized and ready to scale new heights. In today’s new paradigm of the business environment, buzz words like “multi-tasking” and “24/7” represent what’s expected of professionals in this very competitive world.
When one is organized they are less overwhelmed by the volume of tasks that face them each day. Organized professionals usually have the information they need at their fingertips.
What I find useful is my electronic tablet. I have my appointment schedule, sample documents, e-mails and online capability with me all the time. I can go online and get insurance quotes, and even fill out applications when I am in the field. If a prospect asks me a question that I don’t know the answer to, I can get it in seconds on the web. A notebook computer that you carry with you can accomplish the same things. Having said all that, organization is also a function of good time management. One must learn to prioritize their tasks and not get bogged down in non-productive activities.
It is also important to recognize and identify prospects that are just not worth the time and effort.
I know that is easier said than done, especially if your appointment schedule is not as full as you would like it to be. Now more than ever we have to learn to think outside the box, do things differently, step out of our comfort zones and most importantly, develop people skills that are rarely taught in schools or by corporations. Instead of spending time with a prospect that is draining you and in your gut will never become a client, go see a center of influence instead.
Print a brochure describing you and your services and carry it with you. Hand it out during the day whenever you have an opportunity. Then collect the business card of that party and add them to your e-mail database so you can, with their permission, drip market to them. These are things you may already know, but the follow-up is what makes it profitable.
Here is a suggestion that I am confident will work for you: After you have added someone to your e-mail drip marketing program and have e-mailed them more than once, invite them to a breakfast meeting. Tell them it is to be a social get-together and not a sales call. At this meeting, let them talk about their business as well as their interests and just soak it in. I guarantee you that if they have a need for your services, they will bring it up, and then you can set up a sales appointment.
In closing, try this three-step process:
1) Since we are with ourselves all the time, it is important to not only like ourselves, but also to have a realistic assessment of our strengths and weaknesses. We all have flaws and things about ourselves we are not happy with. The key is to forget about things you don’t have the power to change and focus on the positive ones.
2) Fill up your schedule with meaningful and positive appointments. It should be a combination of prospects, centers of influence and client reviews. Stay away, far away, from negative people.
3) Use a client management program to organize everything. Keep notes on your meetings and always find a way to set up a follow-up meeting when you see an opportunity worth pursuing.
The more organized you are, the less stress you will experience in your practice. You will come across as the confident, knowledgeable professional you are. Happy selling.