>The power of focus amazes me. I find the results it produces so incredible, that I have to wonder why there was not a class on how to focus in school? Why is learning how to focus not a requirement to graduate? Why did I spend all this time learning “the new math” or taking Film as an elective? Makes no sense to me, as focus is a skill I will use for the rest of my life, and I honestly cannot remember one thing I studied in film class.
Learning to focus is one of the most useful skills there is for turning your prospects into customers, and for achieving anything else you want to in life. Believe me, I suffer from “everything sounds like a great idea to me” syndrome. Google “easily distracted” and my name will appear. I want to try, participate in, travel to, and enjoy everything. I am the person infomercials are targeting. I say all this, because when I tell you first that focus is powerful, and two that anyone can do it, I come with the credibility to back it up. It took me a long time to embrace the concept of focus, then to train my wide open personality to learn to do it. Am I glad I took the time? You bet, the ability to focus is one of the most powerful tools you have in your ability to turn your prospects into customers.
Let me share a story with you. When I first started in banking ( a long time ago, back in the day when a loan actually had to cash flow before you were allowed to make it) our company was just initiating their business banking department. In my role as a business banking manager, it was my job to get this program going to to assure we achieved our goals. This was challenging to say the least as we were starting from scratch. My boss, Jeff Ward, called me into his office and brought up this strange concept of focus. Sounded like a rule to me, so I was naturally resistant, I hate rules!
He persisted (must have read my last blog) and we set a goal to book $350,000 a month in business loans. We devised a plan (which I am going to share with you in a moment) and within two months we were blowing that goal out of the water. So, we moved the goal to $1,000,000. I will never forget Jeff and I saying to each other, boy if we could do a million dollars a month that would be incredible, and I was a little doubtful we could do it. Well, to cut to the chase, by year’s end we were booking three to four million a month in business loans consistently. The power of focus is incredible! It is also easy.
So how do you do it? How do you learn to focus?
First, begin with the understanding of how your company makes money. That may sound a little unconventional, but for goals to have meaning and purpose you need to understand why they are your goals. One thing I advise all of my clients, is to first make sure they have a good grasp of how they make (and how they lose) money. If they have employees I advise them to teach their employees how to do it. If you are an an employee, then go to your boss and ask how the company makes money. It will open your eyes, shift your paradigm and give you the knowledge you need to focus on the right things.
Two, set a goal. If you want to focus you need to know what you are focusing on. I think it is good to have a financial and a visual goal. A number you want to achieve and a visual of how that will look. In the example above, we set a goal of not only booking a million a month in business loans, but we knew that type of business growth would bring us the President’s Award. (Which it did.) The visual and the financial goal made a powerful combination in our ability to focus and stay motivated.
Three, design the consistent behaviors you need to do to achieve that goal. In other words, how are you going to focus?What things or actions are you going to take day-in and day-out to make your goals? Example – how many networking events are you going to attend? how many sales calls are you going to make? how many sales follow-up calls etc. Establishing the actions you want to take is simply your way of creating your plan to focus.
Four, hold yourself accountable. There is that word again, one of my favorites. Track and measure your daily actions, then hold weekly meetings to see how you are doing. This is key in your ability to learn what is going well, and what is not going well. What actions are producing results, and what actions are hindering results? A fifteen, thirty or sixty minute weekly meeting is one of the best investments of time you can make. Better yet, if you are part of a team, having these meetings as a group can bring incredible insight, peer-to-peer coaching, and improved teamwork.
Five, commit to improve. Your weekly meetings will tell you what is working and what is not. You need to commit to do whatever it takes to keep doing what is working and improving what is not. Ask yourself? Do you need to improve your skills? make more calls? choose better prospects? be better prepared for calls? follow-up more? Whatever it is, if you want to reap the benefits of focus, then you need to commit to improve.
Laugh, enjoy it, have fun with it and laugh. Focus is fun! That may sound a little crazy, but it is true. When you see those results start going up, when you watch a group of people start helping each other to succeed you cannot help but smile, laugh and simply enjoy the process.
Focus is about improvement and results. When you use these steps, people enjoy the process of focus and accountability. When you and your team enjoy this process then a fat bottom line is inevitable!
If you want to turn your prospects into customers then learn to focus. Even if you are doing well, learn to focus and your results will get even better. Knowing what you want, how you are going to get there, and committing to consistent accountability and improvement will yield amazing results!