Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Why salespeople don't make working on their database a priority.

Well, this pretty much sums it up, especially from those who had the courage to change the way they were doing business.

Ones who took the time and made the commitment to set up and implement their database marketing.

Call it what you want

Database marketing

Client Contact systems

After marketing

Relationship marketing

Sphere of influence or simply a Referral Network.

By any name it is the mindset and application to stay in touch with people who know you, like you and trust you on an ongoing and consistent basis so as to inform them as to what you do and how you help others.

Why? So they can refer you. You just have to make it easy for them to do this.

Relationships take time.

Results are not immediate.

Referrals happen, but it takes patience and time.

But when it starts, and it always does, it's no longer, "business as usual."

For the brave and courageous ones who had taken the time to establish new habits in setting up, maintaining, and implementing a referral network a year ago it's never the same. Kudos to you all!

Referred clients are the best!

It sounds so simple, but it's not.

It's not easy to stop what you're doing, shut down for day or two or even a couple of hours at a time to construct and add the names of everyone who may know you to a database program. And then everyday to think who did I meet today that I can add to my contact system. And then input them into the program with their name and address. And then to have something to mail out or email them on a monthly basis.

There is always something else pulling at you to do this or that.

So when I hear, "This stuff is really working, I have 205 in my database and just this month I got 3 calls from people who need my help," I have to admit I like hearing this.

I suspect we all enjoy knowing that what we do is reaffirmed by others.

It connects us on many different levels to the work we do. It feels good and it always a pleasure to hear.

It is said with both surprise and excitement. Being excited about things working is fun. What amazes me is the surprise.

By definition the word surprise means "to come upon suddenly or unexpectedly, to feel the wonder or astonishment by being unexpected, to present someone unexpectedly with a gift."

It's shouldn't be a surprise that if you stay in contact with people who know you and like you, in time they will refer others to you.

It's called "Ethical Opportunism."

As a reminder Step Four in Building Blocks
for a Successful Referral Based Business is Follow Up.
Get in touch with your referrals and your referral network. People who know you like you and trust you will refer you to their friends, family neighbors and co-workers, if they know what you do and how you help others.

Yet people seem to be surprised when it happens and continues to grow and develop.

This week's tip isn't about all the reasons it works or evens the benefits of a successful database. This week it is about why salespeople don't make working on their database a priority.

It's a big question that I'm often asked.

So, why don't salespeople make working on their database a priority?

Here are my thoughts.

No matter the field, the economy, the industry, the size of their company, their gender, their experience, their age, no matter what it always works.

So why doesn't everyone make it work for them?

The number one reason is the "Learning Disability." I'll explain.

All behavior has consequences. When there is a lot of time and space between one's behavior and their consequences we don't learn very well. When we don't clearly see the consequences of our actions, we tend to learn slowly, if at all. This applies to businesses and individuals behavior. When the consequences of our behavior are immediate we learn well.

If you don't answer the ringing phone, you miss the call.

If you don't show up for work day after day, you'll get fired.

If you're an hour late and unprepared for an appointment with no excuse or apology, you'll probably lose the sale.

If you're rude, you'll lose the customer.

Behavior with immediate consequences, we learn fast and well.

But when our behaviors have resulting consequences far off in to the future we don't learn so well.

I apologize for this example, but it will help you to learn what the "Learning Disability" is and how it works in our lives.

This more than any other reason affects our implementation of database
as a priority. When there is time (1, 2, 3+ years) and space (we can't see if anything is happening) between our behavior and consequences we just don't learn so well.

By example: If you smoke, the consequences of your behavior will be 10, 20, 30 years from now. Because they are so far away, we don't change our behavior. The consequences are inevitable, BUT, if the warning label on the pack of cigarettes read "WARNING, smoking one cigarette will cause immediate sudden death!!!" Would you smoke?

I don't think so. Here the consequences are immediate. We would change our behavior fast.

Now imagine you're sitting at a seminar. A well lit room with about 100 people sitting at 10 round tables and a man quietly sitting near you stands up, takes out a gun, a revolver. It's empty and he holds it open, then he places one bullet in the chamber, closes it and spins the chamber, and then places the gun to his head. Appearing to be no threat to you he holds the gun to his head.

What would you do? Duck, hide, run, freeze? Would anyone try to stop the man from playing Russian roulette? Would you try to stop the man from shooting himself?

I would like to think someone would try to wrestle the gun away from
the man. Nobody wants to see a friend or acquaintance kill himself.

Yet, at the break in the seminar earlier, some go out for a smoke. I know that I do. I don't see anyone wrestling a cigarette from me or any of the other smokers. There is no immediate consequence.

And for the record, the man with gun with only one bullet in a chamber of six has betters odds for survival than the smoker.

It's all a matter of TIME and SPACE.

When our little children suddenly step off the curb to get the ball rolling in the street, we immediately teach them by grabbing their arm, pulling them back onto the sidewalk, and in a firm voice and face to face, say, "that's not safe, don't step off the curb without looking first." They know you're serious because of the tone and the immediacy of your response.

This is how we learn.

When behavior and consequences are close together we learn well.

When they are separated by time and space, we are subject to the "Learning Disability."

So what can we do?

Focus on your activities, not the outcome. When the outcome is too far away we don't often change our behavior.

This of course applies to our overall well being, our financial health, our physical health, our emotional and mental health.

Pay attention to all the activities that support the outcome, not the outcome.

You may remember the NFL Playoffs, the Quarterback from Dallas in the last seconds of the game, a field goal to win was all he needed, was he paying attention to the activity or the outcome?

When you focus on the activities you create and develop new habits.

When you change your habits you change your character.

When you change your character you change your destiny.

Those who have a successful referral network focus on the activities, that support the outcome, not the outcome itself.

Thanks for spending 3 minutes with me.....
The best is yet to be!

Your Trusted Advisor For Life
Jeffrey Stanton

You read Jeffrey's Journal every week because you, like me want the best for yourself.
And you, like me want to build a strong referral based business.
Who else like you, like me loves referrals that you can share this blog with right now?

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