A fortnightly pearl of wisdom to fast track your success
CHRISISM #88 - Succeeding Daily
01 April 2019
Back in the 80s in the UK and in the 90s here in Australia, I managed a team of advisers with a company that was very performance based and that operated a system of monthly targets. How great would it be for managers and salespeople if 25% of a monthly target was achieved in week one, 50% by the end of week two, 75% by the end of week three and the balance mopped up by the end of week four? This would be called a stress-free existence. So why is this seldom a reality?
The primary reason is simply because salespeople typically need an impending event to spur them into action. As a result, the pattern of a monthly sales period would look something like this:- week one would largely consist of recovering from bursting a blood vessel in week four of the previous period when you had to find 50% of your monthly target in the last week – but hey, no problem as there are still three weeks to go to hit this month’s target! As a result, it was painfully predictable that only around 10% of the monthly target would be done in week one.
Then one slowly started to go through the gears in week two, resulting in approximately 25% of the target being achieved at the half way point. In week three one achieved what one was supposed to be achieving every week and in week four one ran around like a headless chicken until dropping in a heap over the finishing line with the last bit of business to hit your target – hardly stress free!!
Then one day the management team (it may even have been me!) had a brainwave. In recognition of the fact that salespeople only really start performing when faced with an impending event, we decided to change the monthly sales periods to fortnightly sales periods – thereby doubling the number of impending events! Without making any other changes, this stroke of genius lifted our production levels by 15%!
Taking this concept to its logical extreme, I believe that even fortnightly or weekly targets need to be broken down into daily targets, the difference between the two being that certainly fortnightly or monthly targets can and should be expressed in the form of results, whereas daily targets should be expressed in the form of activity.
Because we are in the “people business”, we are somewhat in the hands of the vagaries of different people, so we can’t have complete control over what people do and when they do it. For this reason, activity is the best way to measure daily targets, because we are in complete control of our own activity, and providing we are putting in the right level of activity with the right attitude every day, then the good days will balance out the bad days (results wise) and we will invariably hit our target.
Implementing this modus operandi, you will hit your target every day not every month or fortnight – and that is like getting a daily ‘shot in the arm’ + you will go home every day having succeeded (because you don’t go home until you have put in the necessary level of activity!).
The Risk Workshop by Chris Unwin
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