A few days ago I was watching a training film by a prominent coach in the PGA circuit. He began breaking down the golf game into four major areas that good golfers need to focus on. As I listened to him strategically break down each area, I began to notice the same characteristics for a professional sales career. As a productivity coach in the real estate industry, I have several steps for taking agents from the very beginning to the point of reaching a successful level in sales production. All of those steps can be incorporated into the same four basic divisions he used to describe the game of golf. The more I began to analyze what he was saying, the more I began to see that these divisions apply to life in general. They would be the same areas anyone would need to focus on if they wanted to attain success. Isn’t it strange that we have a tendency to complicate things until someone simplifies it for us? I want to share these four areas with you as they relate to a successful sales career.
The first division is the business aspect……
The title alone seems to encompass the entire business within itself until we break it down into areas or aspects of the business. First we must determine what our goals are. Setting goals are the definite point of beginning in any business but make sure that you incorporate personal, family, religious, health and any other specific goals you wish to achieve, into your business goals. If you don’t include them, you will only focus on the business and have no time for things that are more important to you. Some people focus only on their business goals to the point they don’t have time for family, friends, and things that are equally important to their business. Making money is important because it allows or provides the ability to reach other goals, but it’s not the most important thing in life. I have known people that were so focused on earning wealth that they found themselves wealthy and alone during their golden years. We need to fine that delicate balance that allows us to reach all our goals.
After we have determined our goals, we need to determine exactly where we currently are in our business before we can determine what we need to do to reach our goas. The business aspect includes things like product knowledge, methodology, and following proven models that will deliver the required results. The internet age has totally revamped the way we communicate with prospective customers so rather than hanging on to ways that you’re comfortable with, break out of that comfort zone and learn new ways to achieve the same results. Most productive sales techniques that have been around for many years are still the most productive; the only difference is the delivery method has changed.
The second division is the mental aspect…….
This is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. We can have the best looking office in the area; we can have the best location; we can have the best training and the best tools money can buy and we can still fail unless we prepare for success mentally. We must develop a mental attitude that we can do anything necessary to our success. That we can provide our customers with everything they need. Our attitude should be that we have no fear. I am reminded of a small but very powerful book written by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz entitled, “Go For No!” On the cover of this book reads like this, “YES is the destination, NO is how you get there.” A good salesperson understands that you must get through all the “No’s” before you get a “Yes.” In sales, we must have no fear of rejection. We need to understand that “No” doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested; it just means that they aren’t ready to buy right now.
We also need to have the mindset that we won’t let anyone or anything interfere with us working from a daily schedule. When we schedule all our work and appointments, and we keep our schedule, we will accomplish much more, with less effort, in a shorter period of time. However, we might offend someone when we tell them we don’t have time for small-talk because we have blocked time for accomplishing certain things. This is what I consider staying focused. If we want to accomplish our goals by working 40-50 hours a week, we need to remain focused on doing things that are productive and not letting unproductive things get in our way.
The third division is the aspect of short term……..
Our mindset should always focus on the things we need to accomplish right now, today, tomorrow, next week, and over the next few months. We determined in our business division the need for setting goals as well as the things we need to accomplish in order to reach those goals. We will never accomplish them unless we break them down into workable areas of importance. Our sales for the near future are directly related the activities we perform on a daily and weekly basis. If we allow required activities for closing a transaction to hinder us from prospecting for future sales, somewhere in the near future we will find ourselves without transactions to close.
Short term is not limited to daily, weekly, or monthly activities. In my business I think of short term as being a period of one year. Common sense tells me that if I need to accomplish certain things within a year, I must break these activities down into monthly, weekly and daily activities. It’s like eating an apple; one bite at a time. If I don’t accomplish my short term activities, these activities are moved up to my next schedule which simply means I am moving my schedule without completing the things I need to do to move forward. If I don’t accomplish all my short term goals, I will automatically fail to reach my long term goals.
The forth division is the long term………
The third and forth division are both dealing with goals but they are also dealing with specific activities. I consider long term ranging anywhere from next year until ten years from now. Long term is where I want my business to be in the future. Achieving short term goals can cause major changes in long term goals. It’s important that we keep our goals realistic and attainable. More times than not, goals are gauged by income because income is the means that allows us to do certain things. The process of setting goals should incorporate our current needs with our future desires.
To tie these divisions together…………..
Let’s say that our business is listing and selling real estate. We have laid out a complete annual business plan. We have mentally committed to strictly following this plan. We have determined that we need to produce 48 closed transactions during the coming year in order to meet our short term goal, and to remain on track to reaching our long term goal. Now let’s say that we have only closed 15 sales transactions over the last 12 months. Is it realistic to think that we can close an additional 33 transactions over the next 12 months? Sure it’s realistic if you commit to doing the required activities necessary to make and close 48 transactions in a year. When developing our business plan, we determined that having 35 conversations with new leads every day would result in four closed sales each month. If we make the mental commitment to make those calls every day, without letting unscheduled events hinder us from making these calls, we will get our desired results. Just for figuring sake let’s say that at the end of the first year we had only closed 30 sales; leaving us 18 sales short of our initial goal. Have we been successful? Sure we have. We didn’t meet our goal but we increased our sales by 200%. Now we can look back at the things we accomplished as well as the things we didn’t do and recommit ourselves to following our business plan for the next year. If in fact we followed our business plan and couldn’t meet our goal of 48 annual transactions, we may want to lower our expectations to a more realistic goal of 35 sales.
Is one division more important than the others…………..
I would have to say no, however, our mental attitude is the life-blood to our business success. Making sales are totally dependent on maintaining a positive mental attitude while committing to following a thorough business plan.
When we reflect on life in general, we can visualize life’s activities falling into one of these four divisions. We make daily decisions that fit into the business aspect. Life is filled with circumstances that affect our attitudes. Some causes us to have a negative attitude and some are positive; but both are in the mental division. We have certain things we need to accomplish on a daily bases, some on an annual bases, and some things will happen, hopefully long term. Whether in life or in sales, we must plan our work and work our plan.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.