December 28, 2011
Break for Perspective: The Hub of Relationship Management
“There are times when the best appointment you keep is with yourself.”The strongest relationship management tool? Time with yourself making sure your systems and focus are aligned to make your goals – inevitable. Many, especially those responsible for driving sales or those who are entrepreneurs, find it challenging, if not frustrating, during this week. It’s an impatience that happens when you’re forced to wait for the next step or that decision which makers just haven’t convened to sign off on to move forward on a project. This time is the “go slow to go fast time.” I often call it the strong foundation time so that you can soar during the beginning of the new quarter. It’s also the time that separates the “doers and the dreamers”. Or, better phrased and more realistic, it’s the element that separates the employees from the entrepreneurs. It’s that terrific self discipline to slow down and use this time to build a strong foundation of a successful empire or sales force that will make 2012 a huge success or a perpetual struggle. Establishing “no fly zones” are areas in your life that are non-negotiable – they are boundaries and promises to ourselves and our valued others in which we say “no” so that we honor that which is most important to us.
What are your no fly zones?They are those times that are 100% committed to those items that move you closer to your goals. From acquiring skills to establishing systems, your “no fly zones” are the times that you are compounding your success and exponentially developing your relationships. It’s a struggle I see many good employees struggle with as they work to bridge the gap to an entrepreneur. It’s a confusion of activity with accomplishment. Many times those two standards “collide” and our schedules and our feeling of well-being are in a literal train wreck! For this week’s no fly zone, let’s make sure your system is ready to run well in 2012.
The importance of having a great system established and following up is amply illustrated by research from the National Sales Executive Association, a trade organization for professional sales executives. Their remarkable statistics demonstrate that most sales are made from the 5th through the 12th contact!Did you know that 67% of contacts listed in people’s database are no longer at the company listed in that database? Even worse, 3% of the people on your list are dead. Literally, they’ve died since you last made contact with them. Here are your action items to make the most of this week’s “no fly zone”:
- Clean up your database. Make it rich in client content that it will catapult your relationships (and sales) for 2012?
a. When was the last time you made contact with that client? b. Do you have all of their contact information? c. Do you have a system to house your clients’ and contacts’ information? d. How are you cataloging information about your clients, such as: names of children, milestone dates, interest areas, common frames of reference? (There’s a comprehensive list of 20 things you need to know about every client in Tim Templeton’s Book, Referral of a Lifetime, a part of the Ken Blanchard Series.) Here is the data they have compiled regarding sales per contacts ratios:
- 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
- 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
- 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
- 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
- 80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact!!!