Let's try to reverse engineer your entrepreneurial journey. What is it that you would ultimately like to see as the future of your sales practice? It doesn't matter if you have just started your journey. Take a moment to imagine how you would like to see your sales practice running in the next couple of weeks, months or even years.
Ask yourself the following questions;
- How do I want to operate my business?
- How big will my business be in five years?
- Will I need a team?
- How do I want to communicate with my team?
- How will I track what goes on in my business, if I am not micro-managing every detail?
A long time ago, long before tablets & cell phones, I used to dream of being a business woman on the go with Star trek like devices running it all, no matter where I was.
That's no longer a dream.... Thank You Apple!
I took the time to think about how I wanted to see myself running the business. Had I never invested my time in getting organized, there is no way I could have created or maintained my practice as it grew! Getting organized in your practice can drastically change your production.
Once you have an idea of how your business will run, try to write out the details as they come to you. What will your production count look like? What color is your letterhead? How many clients do you see on a weekly basis? What product markets will you focus on? Try to clarify as many details about your future practice as possible.
I learned quickly if we want to increase numbers, I had to know how to process things in the fastest, most efficient manner possible. When I began working in financial services, I took notes on my every move and turned each action into a batch of processes as I navigated each new case. Eventually, I would take all of my notes and turn them into a procedure log for quick reference. To scale a process, you must understand every piece of the process.
You need to understand why the pieces are what they are and where each piece fits into the process as a whole.
In my experience, new financial professionals are concerned with generating income and gaining the first or next client. They keep general information for each customer but neglect to keep this information organized in a manner they can easily refer to.
Once you have several ideas on paper, begin thinking about the resources you currently have available. Which resources do you currently use to support your practice and why? Consider which resources work best together and how they will assist you in the growth of your practice.
Technology is changing daily and the last thing you want to do is have you business scramble to keep up. Review your long-term idea of your sales practice and think about what programs (ex. Client Relationship Management System) you may need to accomplish your vision. Is there a particular operating system you may want or need to implement to improve what you currently do or may do in the future? Always consider the return on the investment of any actions taken or programs used. Begin implementing the programs and systems that have the potential to decrease overall production costs as early as possible.
F.Y.I.- Free is not always the best option!
- Your software
- The time creating your procedures!
It is 2017 and there are numerous workflow and procedure applications to choose from. Be sure the software you purchase is compatible with how you want to run your business. Consider the following;
- Is the software accessible in mobile format?
- How easy is the system to learn and operate?
- Are there any mobile limitations with the software?
- Did you try a demo version?
When starting your sales practice, get as organized as possible as early as possible. Map out step by step actions you need to accomplish to create the practice you described above. If you begin documenting all of your processes and what you would like them to be, scaling your practice, will seem like a walk in the park!
Isabelle Mercier-Turcotte, one of North America’s Top Small Business Influencers, TEDx Speaker, best-selling author and TV show host takes a moment from her extremely busy schedule to join the Technology = Equality Community for Episode #62. Listen in as Isabelle shares insight on how to begin finding your X-factor.
“I would have needed more courage for me to get a job.” ~Isabelle Mercier-Turcotte
Strategy: Watch & Learn- Isabelle’s parents each built individual sales practices while raising her. She often helped her mom and the entrepreneurial spirit developed into a passion during childhood.
Wisdom: Bubble Time, as Isabelle calls it, is the ticket to reclaiming your time! Structure your time to provide the unstructured time.
Wish: To provide a global, seamless, evergreen process for interested clients to enroll in the Built To Rock program.
Reach Out Via: Build To Rock
In my last post "How To Perfect Your Client Retention Plan for 2017" I promised you a couple of strategies to ensure you can seamlessly create time for taking thorough notes. As previously discussed, your appointment notes can serve as a gold mine for your practice. The list below is a set of actionable steps you can take today to ensure you never miss an opportunity and your client relationships continue to grow.
1. Collect your thoughts.
Take a moment to collect your thoughts before you meet with a prospect. Ask yourself the following;
- What do you already know about the prospect?
- Why are you planning to meet with them?
- What is it that they need your help with in the grand scheme and how can you deliver this?
- How will you make your prospect see the value in your solution?
Taking a moment to breathe will allow you to have a clear mindset as you begin to collect the next set of familial details.
2. Schedule it in
Seriously, make time in your calendar to take the notes. I know it may seem silly, but if you schedule it in, it is far more likely to get done. Yes, I am talking about physically adding time to your weekly calendar. I want you to take a look at your upcoming appointments for the month. Review where you are most likely to have down time and add in the time to take notes for the previous 1 - 3 appointments. The more frequent your appointments, the more frequent you should take down notes. There is no magic frequency nor is there a level of detail, just try to make it a routine. The more you do it the better you'll become at capturing each bit of information mentioned.
3. Create a summary Prepare a list for yourself separate from the agenda for your appointment. This list should contain all of the information you would require when completing the application for any product you feel may be relative to the opportunity you intend to discuss. When your appointment is completed this list will serve as a checklist of the items you have discussed. Use this list to quickly create your appointment notes.
4. Use your technology
The majority of financial professionals actively producing in 2017 carry or make use of a cell phone or tablet device. There are a million audio recording and dictation apps on the market. Download one now and dictate your notes post your appointments to avoid forgetting anything.
***BONUS TIP*** If you own an iPhone your recording software is already built-in! Set your audio recorder on your home screen or in the toolbar for easy access.
Marcia Bennett re-joins the Technology = Equality Community for Episode #61. Listen in as Marcia and I discuss mastering self-assurance with baby steps.
"There's no pressure to make this perfect." ~Marcia Bennett
Strategy: Visualize the end project and start by preparing your book formatting first.
Wisdom: Take baby steps..... they'll continue leading until you say mush or stop.
Wish: Marcia would like to realize that nothing is absolute. Not everything has to be black and white; sometimes Grey works just as well.
Useful Tools: Are You In It To Win It?
Kate rejoins the Technology = Equality Community to discuss how Kate’s Take was created and how it helped Kate to find her voice.
“I was so nervous…I had to embrace my fears!” ~Kate Erickson
Strategy: Take complex things and break them down into easy chunks of information.
Wisdom: Don’t allow fear to hold you back! Embrace your fears, try new things, take ownership of your journey and be open to new opportunities.
Wish: To find a way to delegate enough non- essential tasks in her day and allow more time to work on the business versus always working in it.
Useful Tools: Workflowy.com
James joins the Technology = Equality Community to discuss how a moment during his training in ministry opened his mind and heart to how often transition takes place for others across the globe.
“Ignorance is bliss!”~James Burgess
Strategy: Take the time to understand who you are and what truly makes you happy. Listen to those around you and see how you naturally help others. Decide what it is you can teach to really address the need you already serve.
Wisdom: Ignorance is bliss! Find a way to free yourself from the negativity. Focus on what it is your clients want and need, and be sure to over deliver.
Wish: To have started sooner! WOW Tech= Equality Community!!! Where is the TIME machine already!
Join your host Lori Brooks as she welcomes Joe Pagliuca aka Big Joe to theTechnology = Equality Community for Episode #58. Listen in as Big Joe shows how to create a plan and structure your transition to support your goal.
"You have only what you are looking to get out of, to go back to." ~Big Joe
Strategy: Make your journey easier by asking someone successful for guidance. Take the time to recognize your personal and professional strengths and learn how to delegate the rest.
Wisdom: Trust yourself and take more chances. When in doubt,consider the alternatives.
Wish: A new team member to manage the internal processes.
Useful Tools: Big Joe Workshops
Sally Hendrick joins the Technology = Equality Podcast for Episode #56. Listen in as Sally shares how to go about setting yourself up for a smooth transition from where you are now to where you want to be.
“Figure out a way to make your workload easier!” ~Sally Hendrick
Strategy: Find your focus and join online forums to begin validating your creative side. Learn how to teach and delegate all of the pieces you should not be doing. Always be grateful for and respectful of the person you delegate to.
Wisdom: Keep an open mind as opportunities, ideas and inspiration can come from many different places. Be honest and set yourself up for a clean exit from your current endeavors.
Wish: For more people to understand how being positive and helping others can help build their business.
Tools: Social Media Traffic School