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August 24, 2007

Peak Performance Prospecting

Staying on top of your present business is not enough. You know you must build a future business on a consistent basis to be successful and to even out the peaks and valleys of your production. For many agents, this area is one of frustration and one where they berate themselves up for not doing  "right" or "enough."
 
In my experience as a business coach, I find that trying to be more "self-disciplined" is something most agents feel they should do and should do MORE of. But, I have found, the struggle often comes because you are trying to defy your natural ways of doing things.
 
You try to make yourself spend time doing things that aren't an authentic expression of your values, but a way of doing things that you've heard from others works. Well, it may work for them, but if you don't have the same core values and style that they have, it won't work in the same way for you.
 
This, actually, should be good news.  When you shift to incorporating your natural strengths and rhythms, you will naturally take action more consistently and easily. Some 21st-century thinking is what's called for.
 
THE OLD WAY: Every Day do a Little

It's been an accepted belief that the best way to handle goals and prospecting is to do a certain amount EVERY DAY. You look at the goal for the year, then break it down into monthly, weekly and daily actions. Then every single day, you must make calls.
 
Many agents set some calls to make every day or set a time, like an hour a day, aside for these calls. For agents who are good at consistency and like each day to look the same, this works. But, I find, that is a very small percentage of agents; I find most of my clients are drawn to this profession because of the freedom and flexibility they have with their schedules.
 
You' get bored doing the same thing every day. You'd have a 9-5 job if you wanted to do the same thing every day. Trying to force this, if it is not your natural style, creates a struggle and then internal questioning of your motivation and worth. The downward spiral begins.
 
THE BETTER WAY: Use a Couple of Weekly Peak Performance Days

You know if consistent daily action is something you love, or if you'd rather do things in big chunks and vary your daily activities. Do you regularly plan your week so you will be able to be the most effective possible? Creating your ideal week plan based on your personality style will enable you to integrate activities in a way that is easier for you to do naturally.
 
If you are like most agents, you probably spend 5-10 minutes getting ready to prospect: getting a cup of coffee, clearing the desk, or getting out the numbers, thinking maybe this is a good time to do something else. Anything else, actually (one agent said even doing laundry could entice her!).
 
If you are doing it the old way, you are wasting this 5-10 minutes 5x per week. If you, instead, have one or two longer sessions each week, you have already become more time effective!
 
A two- to three-hour prospecting session is better than a shorter one for a couple of other reasons. First, that initial call is usually the hardest, and then you begin to relax. Secondly, as you relax, the energy and authenticness that comes through to the prospect are of a more natural quality making it easier for you to connect with them. You get on a roll and start to find more people are home, they are more are receptive, and it is not as bad as you had imagined. You get into the flow and the time passes with more positive results. Your feeling of self-worth increases and it makes it easier to face down the knots in your stomach when you get ready for the next prospecting session.
 
If you are the kind of person who loves the variety of different activities each day, here is an effective way to still stay on track and prospect regularly:
 
Plan 1-2 days a week as Peak Performance Days. On these days, plan for 80% of the activity to be on dollar producing activities. Your prospecting is then blocked in like an appointment with a client on these days. Other dollar productive activities, such as taking listings, negotiating and selling to "A" buyers can be scheduled for these days as well.
 
Certainly, 100% of these activities will not naturally fall on these days, but you will be amazed once you start being focused about intentionally creating Peak Performance Days, how easy it is to shift activities to the appropriate times. You are, after all, the one who is in charge of your calendar and what you do each day, aren't you? Work your plan consistently, and miracles will happen, but it takes saying no, finding ways to work and not be interrupted and getting very good and asking yourself,  "Is what I am doing right now the highest and best use of my time?"
 
Give up trying to force yourself to get more self-discipline and start looking for ways to do things in a way that suits your style. Life is too short to perfect your weaknesses!

(Joeann Fossland, Certified e-PRO Trainer, GRI, PMN, is a Master Certified Coach and Founder of the Web Women Giving Circle. Joeann is the Creator of The Real Estate Game®, the most effective group coaching available. You can reach her at www.Joeann.com.)

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