Control

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You know what you control?

Not if a potential client buys.

Not if a possible client keeps a meeting.

Not even if an Introduction agrees to a meeting when you reach out to them.

All of these you can influence through developing your skill, improving the environment for the ask, and positive filtering of the people you talk to.

But the only thing you actually CONTROL, that you have near complete determination over, is your activity.

You can only influence if any particular person agrees to meet with you, but even if you are lousy and only one out of three do so you can get your three new appointments a day as a new professional by picking up the phone enough times to talk to at least nine people each and every day.  This is probably about 35-40 attempts of qualified people, even halfway decent Introductions.  Picking up the phone is 100% under your control, so the only reason it doesn’t happen consistently is you.

If one out of four people you ask to purchase your service or product agrees, if you ask one person a day to do so you will have on average about 1.5 or so sales a week.  Want to make more money?  Develop better skills and improve your market (something you influence, and actually fairly strongly) or raise your activity to asking at least 10 or even 15 people a week to buy and your production will jump.  You absolutely have dominion over the number of times you ask people to buy.

Activity is the greatest determinant of success for most salespeople.  Even those that are naturally gifted hone their craft through meeting more potential clients, and the more of them you interact with the stronger your sales skills become.  But we all have a set of internal ratios that over an extended period reflect the sum total of our abilities, our markets, and our offerings.  This number may drift slightly  up over time, but a career .200 hitter is not going to suddenly win multiple batting titles in a row, just like even a good salesperson won’t suddenly start being in the Top 1% of their field and sustain it year over year without seeing enough clients.  Luck is great in the short term, but long-term activity is a much greater predictor of success.

 That kid shooting 1,000 free throws a day?  Hall of Famer Larry Bird, simply because he could almost control this one aspect and practiced it ad nauseum. 

That guy pounding the phone until his dialing finger is mangled?  Chris Gardner, the real-world inspiration for the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.  Homeless to wealthy, because he did the one thing he needed to do over and over and over and over.

As a financial advisor, if you schedule five appointments in a day that is a good job.  For that day.  But if the rest of the week you have 1 a day and all day golf on Friday, you are going to be out of business in a year if you don’t have a large existing book of business or a network made up of millionaires because your activity is too low to smooth out the natural ups and downs of business.  A good advisor will get to five appointments a day every day because they know that is enough activity to start having predictability of results, and so they push to get five (or more) on their calendar daily, something they can control.  Not snow-storms, or a kid getting sick, or the Big Big Boss unexpectedly coming into town.  Activity in aggregate we control, not the results of any particular activity.

Chose the one activity you can control through your action, and improve it.  It might be making more initial dials (schedule the time, have your phoning lists ready, get your coffee, and then set your mind and just DO IT whenever it is in your schedule), asking for Introductions at every meeting (have an agenda that includes “Brainstorm for Introductions” combined with a feeder list for each meeting), or asking for business every day.  Chose the primary activity that will drive results, and sit down how to totally dominate it and get the daily numbers you need to drive your success.

It’s simple, but it’s not easy.

Work harder.

Run activity, and you will succeed.

That is the only external you control.

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