I had a conversation with a business associate who is trying to get her business rolling. The call started with a lot of self criticism about how poorly she was doing and how she was never going to reach the kind of success other people in her business were having.
I asked her to go through her past week with me so I could better understand what was happening. Here is what we found:
- One new person scheduled a time to sign up
- Another person says he needs to get started
- Started a new customer
- Touched base with a number of prospects
- Developed a relationship with a LinkedIn/FB contact
- Touched base with a team member to help them with their business
- Tried to reach speaker who was at her networking group
- Lunch with prospect
- Kept the grand kids, so had no time to do any business…except that….
- Was a substitute at a networking group and had the whole list to cherry pick
- Chamber luncheon
- Friday networking group
Overall, what I see in this week is massive potential to build on some great successes.
Yes, there is room for improvement. I would want to see better focus on money-generating activities, increased numbers in all prospecting areas, more presentations and, most importantly, consistency.
It is important to point out, however, that there are obvious wins in this week.
All my friend saw in her week was FAILURE.
Because she had misplaced a stack of business cards.
Because the house was messy and disorganized.
Because some other people seemed to be doing better than her.
In other words, she was measuring her success by her failures and weaknesses and with unfair comparisons.
The truth is that she actually was winning. What was the case with her (as is so often the case) was that…
Sometimes you are winning and you don’t even know it.
The next time you start to run yourself down for seeming not to win like someone else—even if you are falling short of what you know you can do—just stop for a moment and look objectively at your actions and your results. Develop a habit of tracking and keeping records of both your activities and your results.
Every time I can get someone to track what they are doing and the results they are getting, they tend to improve—IF they will stick to it.
You need to Observe, Record, and Measure.
All improvement begins with observation, so pay attention to what you are doing.
Have some kind of checklist of Key Activities and note how often you do them each day. Make it a habit to make notations throughout the day in real time of what you are doing. You may have to set a countdown timer for every 15 minutes to remind yourself to make your notes. Don’t trust your memory to write it down later. You will either forget or will fall prey to justifying lapses in behavior. Don’t do either.
One of the benefits of recording what you observe is that it makes the observations matter. When you know you need to keep records, it will make the act of observing more real to you. If you look at your recording sheet at the end of the day or during your session with your coach and there is nothing there, you can bet that there likely wasn’t much to put on the report. I noticed early in my sales manager days that a sales person who doesn’t have a report to submit has little to report. The ones who were really working were proud to report their numbers. Winners tend to be like that. So record and report your numbers like the winners do. It will make you a winner.
When you put the information somewhere so you can look at it over time, you can then measure your performance.
You want to look at YOUR performance numbers. Industry averages and other people’s performance may seem important—maybe they are—but for the present all we need to measure is how you are doing and what you are doing right now. What are the relationships between activity and results? Are you getting better over time? Where are you consistent in practice and execution? What do you routinely NOT do that is important to your business success?
Trends in your behavior will tend to show up as trends in your results.
A huge benefit of making these measurements over time is that you know how your business works. Astonishingly, most people have no real understanding of cause/effect, input/output, etc. in their business. When you know what your numbers are, you are not discouraged by short-term trends and are encouraged to action because you know exactly how your efforts are likely to—are almost guaranteed to—show up in the world. And that is an amazing feeling!
Set yourself up to win.
When you take the emotion out of your business by consistently following this simple system, you will improve your results and will have a much happier time. It isn’t complicated. You will not only know HOW to win, you will realize that you are winning when the ‘evidence’ seems to indicate otherwise on the surface. Because you know how your business works and that you are working your business, you can say what my old mentor Bern taught me to say:
“I am proceeding
with the calm and cheerful assurance
that as I do the appropriate things
the appropriate things will happen.”
That’s how you win.
If implementing any of this becomes a challenge for you,
then you just may need a coach to get you on track.
Give me a call and let’s talk about what is going on.
I’ll steer you in the right direction.
Michael Stammer is a Sales | Life | Performance coach available for individual and group coaching and speaking to organizations. For more visit www.coachmichael.com
Header photo by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay used under Creative Commons License.