Milwaukee: “My calendar is as full as it’s ever been. It feels great!” Margaret told us on a recent coaching session. “That snowball effect you mentioned really helped me think differently about my day-to-day activities”. Margaret (LOS 6 months) was referring to a conversation we had a while back when she confessed to “going through the motions” when on social outings.
Why is this important? We find that focusing on one clear objective, increasing the face time you have with the right people, leads to more contacts, more prospects, and more new business. Our first objective with any new coaching client is to get them out of the office more regularly. For this to happen, it helps to think in terms of “snowballing” your marketing calendar. This means…
Each affluent encounter should lead to 1-3 additional encounters.
If you’re truly going into each encounter (board meeting, social function, client social interaction, etc.) with clear focus on building your calendar, we’ve found that it’s entirely within your reach to orchestrate 1-3 additional lunches, social functions, exercise meet-ups, etc. Perhaps it’s better to share by example:
· You’re on a family vacation and your new sister-in- law is talking about a group of colleagues that goes to wine night each Wednesday. You simply ask if you can join them.
· You’re playing golf with a CPA you know, one of his colleagues and one of his friends. Set up another round of golf and a lunch meeting with his colleague, the other CPA.
· You’re at a church picnic and you meet two new families with similar aged kids as your children. Suggest a BBQ at your house, kids inclusive, in the near future. Collect contact information and begin to organize the outing. (Not only will they attend, they’re likely to reciprocate.)
· You’re at your son’s soccer game and find out a parent is also into cycling. Discuss cycling and then invite him to join your next group ride and/or ask if you can join his next group ride.
· You’re at the neighborhood pool and talking with a client. You discuss organizing a group for a poolside cookout next Friday and ask if they’d like to help.
· You see one of your neighbors at the grocery store. You invite them over for cocktails one night this weekend and use that as a springboard to invite a few other neighbors as well.
As you can see, with the proper mindset, these additional encounters appear almost natural. And they’re definitely not complicated. It’s as simple as a round of golf, cookout or lunch, but the true power of this exercise is in getting you thinking about each encounter as a real opportunity to create another encounter. Every day, every encounter! Once an advisor develops this into a habit it becomes a surefire way of keeping their calendar full.
The mindset required to develop this habit might pull some of you outside of your comfort zones. But that’s ok – activity drives the dream. Keep your dream in the forefront of your mind and remember a basic truism; you’ve got to go outside of your comfort zone to grow.
Success is a mind game and most people need help from time to time in developing success habits. The following is a quick action plan for getting started in your calendar-filling campaign.
1) Review each encounter from the past 7 days. Who did you see? Where did you go? Were there any missed opportunities? You could likely revisit these scenarios and still get some follow-up traction. (ex. If you just saw someone at the golf course that should be seen again. Call them now while you’re fresh on each other’s minds.)
2) Now pull up your calendar for the next month. If you use an online calendar, print a copy so that you can write on it.
3) Make certain that all of your appointments, social outings, lunches, etc. are on your calendar.
4) Put a star beside every interaction with someone that is a client, could be a client, or could connect you with a prospective client.
5) Beside each starred item, make note of:
a. Who you might/will see (i.e. neighbor)
b. What you know about these people (i.e. loves gardening and fishing)
c. Potential methods of follow-up (i.e. coming by to see his garden or clipping a fishing article)
You can use this simple exercise to frame the next two months of summer for increasing your face-time. Over time, this will become one of your success habits.
It’s also worth mentioning that seeing people just for the sake of seeing people isn’t worth much. There’s a skill component for capitalizing on your increased face-time. But it’s been our experience that sales skills are best acquired through experiential learning. The more you’re in social settings and on the hunt for business, the more you refine your skills. You might also want to revisit our Social Prospecting for New Advisors edition of this FastTrack newsletter.