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Controlling the Results Cycle

Out of the total population of salespeople – regardless of the product or service they sell – the largest majority do not produce consistent and high results. The results of most salespeople are cyclical.
Although salespeople blame their market, their area, their leader, team, product, service, unethical competitors, cheaper fees charged by their competitors – you name it, and most leaders will tell you they’ve heard them all – this cycle has more to do with failure to do the right activities than it does external sources.
The Results Cycle can be controlled. Consistent and high results can be achieved.
Look at the graph that appears above. The three lines on the graph represent:
Green – The level of PROSPECTING performed over time.
BurgundyLISTINGS achieved over time. (Make it blue so it stands out from results)
OrangeRESULTSachieved over time.
In the real estate industry we are told, “List and Last.” This is true. I would, however, argue that “List WELL and Last” makes more sense, but that’s another story! But, regardless of the ability of the lister, the more listings an office receives, the more sales that office will make. More listings; more sales. Simple.
When you first commence working in your agency, you began at the bottom left hand corner of the graph. Having just started work, you have no results, and you haven’t used up any time. Nobody in the area knows you. And because nobody is calling you, you call them. It’s called Prospecting. You do it enthusiastically. “Real Estate – what a fabulous career. Let me loose on those doors!” you say.

As time goes by, your green line begins to climb. And because you are prospecting, you make listing appointments, so up goes the burgundy line. And when the listings go up, results follow. The orange line climbs too.

Guess what happens next. Now you have sellers listed with you – Vendors. To please those sellers you make sure that buyers go through their properties. Now you are busy giving feedback to your sellers, and taking out buyers as well.

You forget that the reason you are now busy is that you went looking for that business in the first place and the first thing that gets dropped off when a salesperson gets busy is the very activity that got the salesperson busy in the first place – you got it – Prospecting. So down goes the green line.

And when the green line goes down, so does the burgundy line – Listings – and when the listings fall, so do results.

Duh!

But how often do we fall for this trap?

So we wake up to the falling results and do some more prospecting. Up goes the green line – for a while – and the stock level goes up – for a while – and the results, too, increase – for a while. But with each cycle of busyness, the prospecting slips and so do results.

This is a cycle – a self-induced cycle. And being self-induced, it can be broken.

Over the years I have noticed that salespeople shirk two important tasks when they become busy. They allow their prospecting levels to fall to dangerously low levels. They also allow their visits with their listed sellers to fall, and in doing so they fail to obtain sufficient Asking Price Adjustments on their stock.

Buyers still get put into cars, but sales don’t happen. That’s the consequence of taking good buyers through overpriced properties: they look, but don’t buy.

Do you notice something about these two tasks – prospecting and obtaining Asking Price Adjustments? Both require courage and skill. And these are the first things to be shirked. Show me a call reluctant salesperson and I’ll show you one who is scared to prospect and to obtain APAs.

These are the salespeople who go looking for activities that give them the appearance of being busy, without them having to perform tasks that make them feel uncomfortable. But you cannot escape the inevitability of results. When you haven’t got them, everybody notices.

So mediocre people invent ‘cycles’. There are buying cycles, selling cycles… all sorts of good things to blame.

I heard a few leaders complain about having a ‘bad January’. Then one leader, who takes responsibility for his team’s actions, said:

We had a bad January because we didn’t do enough prospecting in November. Had we stocked up with listings in November, before large numbers of sellers got distracted with Christmas and with holidays, we’d have had plenty of stock for the buyers to buy in January. And there were plenty of buyers; we just didn’t have the stock to sell them.

Bingo!

The green line was too low: insufficient prospecting led to insufficient stock, which led to poor results.

What part of this ‘cycle’ was beyond the control of the salespeople in those offices? There was no ‘selling cycle’. Christmas, had nothing to do with a poor January in any office – failure to prospect did. It just took the chickens some time to come home to roost. November’s slackness led to January’s poor results.

Salespeople who have attended Winning Ways – Real Estate Sales have access to two plans, both designed to produce fabulous results. The Peak Performance Plan suggests the participant work six-day weeks for twenty-eight days. The second plan, Win for Life, is designed around five-day weeks.

Both plans have proven track records. Skilled people who seriously follow either plan achieve great results. So why don’t more people follow them? The answer is simple:

Both plans call for high levels of daily prospecting. To follow either plan you need to speak with a minimum of forty people a day and you won’t get the results if you won’t make this level of calls.

And right there you see the problem. Most salespeople won’t do the work. So instead they opt for poor results, or work many extra hours to produce, in most cases, barely acceptable results.

There’s no escaping that green prospecting line. But there is escape from the self-inflicted Results Cycle.

All you have to do is get to work.

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