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Five Simple Steps To CRUSH The 4th Quarter

With just about 100 days left in the year… timing is everything.  What you do today…… this week….. and this month will affect whether you and your family will celebrate a stress-free holiday season and finish the year strong, or whether you’ll be worried and hurried and wind up disappointed with 2018’s results.   So as we head into 4th quarter I want to share some nuggets I have gathered over the years and suggest 5 things to guarantee a great 4th quarter, and more importantly…. momentum going into the New Year! 

  1. Know your numbers.  Know how much business you need to bring in before year’s end and know what you need to do to head into the New Year with momentum.  Don’t wait another day to get a handle on these numbers if you haven’t already.  Figure out how much money you want and need to make and how many appointments you need to have heading into the year, then work the math to see how many contacts you need to make to get the number of appointments you need.  Statistically speaking, do you know how many calls it takes to get an appointment?  Do you know what your closing ratio is?  Wikipedia states: The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule, the law of the vital few, or the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Maybe you are new in your business and don’t quite hit 20% or maybe you are a seasoned marketer and do much better.  It makes no difference.  Knowing your own numbers will allow you to plan for a successful 4th quarter and gets some practice to improve your skills and closing ratios.  KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!

  2. Leverage the opportunities to connect.  The 4th quarter is filled with holiday gatherings and neighborhood invites.  The holidays create an amazing reason to reach out and connect with your potential customers.  Start warming up your potential customers by calling every person on your list and wish them a happy holiday season ahead and “I look forward to connecting sometime soon”.  When you do reach out to set an appointment…. your call will almost be expected and set them at ease.  So start connecting!!  Another thing… get out and about this holiday season.  Be seen!  It’s called NetWORKing not NetSITTING.  If you are a relationship marketer, schedule 1:1 coffees with the people you would really like to work with.  Catch up, listen to them, enjoy and only share a few “teasers” on your business life.  They may ask for more but be clear, “I would love to let you in on it but this isn’t the time.  Let’s get together again for that.”  Don’t kill their curiosity for what you are working on by explaining your products and services at this time.  No one appreciates being “pitched” over a re-connect or a “get-to-know-ya” but if you are a good listener, you may find that you have a solution to something that they are praying for or losing sleep over and you can schedule a legit business meeting soon.

  3. Ask for referrals.  Before you hang up – be sure to ask your prospects and customers if they know of anyone who might need some help.  There’s plenty of people struggling – unsure of what their options are in today’s market.  Let them know you are a resource they can turn to – whatever their situation.  Ask them for a warm introduction or at least their referral’s name and number.

  4. Don’t leave your mentality to chance.  Fitness trainer Jillian Michaels says “Transformation is not five minutes from now; it’s a present activity. In this moment you can make a different choice, and it’s these small choices and successes that build up over time to help cultivate a healthy self-image and self-esteem.”  Show up to your organization’s team events and conference calls.  Fill your spare moments with energy building uplifting music, messages, and books.  Invest in yourself – both for the short term and the long term.  Life gets in the way sometimes – no doubt.  We get busy, over-scheduled and over-committed – especially as we make our way toward the fall and winter holidays.  That’s when things like team building, learning, marketing and prospecting fall through the cracks or take a back seat.  Have a plan in place to make sure that you have "all systems go” to make sure you are keeping the main thing the main thing and that your business doesn’t go from full time or part time to only sometimes or don’t have the time. 

  5. Commit to the extra mile.  We all strive for balance in our lives but sometimes we must bet out of balance for a while.  Wayne Dyer said, “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”    How can we do this?  Commit to 2 extra calls a day over the next 17 weeks.  Commit to adding just ONE new person to your prospect list each day.  That’s 100 more folks that can and will bring you new business and referrals in the coming year if you stay top of mind.  Do you think that could be worth a commission check or three…or more?  Go the extra mile on your follow-up calls as well.  Here are some real sales industry statistics.  Forty-eight percent of people NEVER follow up with a prospect.  Twenty-five percent make a second contact and stop.  Only ten percent of salespeople make more than three contacts, yet eighty percent of sales are made on the 5th to 12th contact.  How many potential customers are we missing by not going the extra mile?  Here is a follow-up form I created for myself and you can download and use if you like.  It will help you keep track of your follow-ups!  Commit to the extra mile.  Do just a little bit more.  

In Fort Lauderdale this past August, I attended a company convention and our keynote speaker was Inky Johnson.  Inquoris "Inky" Johnson is a motivational speaker and former college football player.  His promising football career ended abruptly in 2006 at the University of Tennessee with an injury that permanently paralyzed his right arm and almost cost him his life. He said, “Our perspective can become our passport or our prison”.  That statement hit me in the face.  We are all busy people and we tell ourselves and others that often several times a day.  I'm busy", I'm swamped", "I don't have the time".  Is this mantra creating our own prison?  How many times have you said “After this project, this week, next month, after this event…. I will get started?"  I can promise you that there will always be another project or obstacle around the next bend and if you are using this excuse, you will use it again, and again.  Inky said, “At what point do you become stronger than your strongest excuse?”  He also said when you face adversity, go heavy on it.”  In other words, when things seem out of control, that is the time to go the extra mile or even just a few more feet!  That is what the movers and shakers in your industry are doing.  They are busy too.  I may step on some toes here, but if you think you are busier than “everybody else” I beg to differ.  As Inky says, "Excuses will always be there for you, opportunity won't.”

We are born CHOOSERS, not winners or losers.  Don’t settle.  Pray like it all depends on GOD and work like it all depends on you.  The truth is that the bottom 80% of the salespeople in your industry won’t be doing any of these five things over the next quarter.  Many will look at how far behind they already are from their goal, throw their hands up and give up.  Many will do the basics – no more and no less and continue to live paycheck to paycheck.  It will be those of you who strike out, step up and stay laser-focused who will be out on top this year, crushing their goals and kick-starting 2019 with a fiery passion.

Where do you want to be in four months?  Top 20 or bottom 80?  What you do this week, this month and this 4th quarter will make all the difference.

Here's to CRUSHING it in the 4th Quarter!


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