As we transition from fall to winter, it reminds me that the way we view the seasons is a perfect metaphor for what makes top producers successful.
Fall is a season of great beauty. I love looking over the Blue Hills as I exit my office park. It is also a season of decline. As we go from September to October, the days get shorter and temperatures start to drop. October is the start of the last quarter of the year. Sales Executives and Sales Managers are focused on figuring out what can close knowing that year end is rapidly approaching. They are hoping that their team members that are behind on their goals will catch up and they are working overtime hoping to get the hockey stick result at the end of the year.
The leaves are starting to turn color and September is a great time to do some hiking, go to the Cape without big crowds or get those last few bike rides in. My top producing clients are ahead of plan or have already booked their annual goal. They are looking at what can they close by the end of the year and there is no pressure for fall production to be different from any other season. They know they have 3 months to focus on the things that are sure to close. They know where they stand on every job and get nos from the ones with no commitment and move the ones that are still in play to the list for next year.
As we go from October to November the leaves start to fall, the grass starts to turn color and the annuals die. The cold temps remind us that winter is coming. Sales Managers lower the probability on the jobs where there is no significant movement and the stories don’t change. They start to look at letting go of the people who are consistently behind on quotas that are much lower than the top producers’.
With the leaves down, we can see clearly through the trees for a different view. Nature scatters the seeds and we plant the bulbs that will bring new growth in the Spring. In November and December my top producers reflect on what led to their success. They evaluate where their most productive leads came from and which clients are the most profitable. They review their dashboards to determine which activities were the best use of their time and what was less productive. With this information, they edit their 2018 marketing and prospecting plans and produce new ones for 2019. This gives them a good platform to start with to bring in more of their ideal clients.
Spring is a time of explosive growth. The grass turns green and the seeds and bulbs planted in the fall come to life. New growth sprouts everywhere. As the new year starts, top producers are strategically positioned for growth with their ideal clients. Viewed as trusted advisors, they have high level meetings on projects held over and new unexpected things spring up.
The transition from fall to winter is a time for planning. Make sure your team is looking at what is working and what is not. Help them to identify the key activities that will enable them to exceed expectations on a consistent basis. Set them up with tracking systems so they can see how they are improving and keep themselves accountable for doing the key activities.
What’s your view? Are you aware that seeds are being planted for Spring growth or focused on the green growth of Summer browning and beginning to die? Are you looking at a myriad of possibilities you have planted for the next two seasons or chasing low percentage possibilities for year end? Are you taking this time to look at lost jobs to reduce wasted time on things that go nowhere or in a different direction? The death of annuals go hand in hand with the foliage beauty just as failures bring the knowledge required for improvement. Is autumn a period of reduced time before dark and the impending cold weather? Are you busy rushing to catch up, or putting together the plan for next year that will bring success?
What you are doing now will determine your potential to develop top production. If you aren’t clear on any elements of your plan, give us a call. It never hurts to get a second opinion or ask for directions, no cost.
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