I recently led a Tele-Seminar entitled, “How to Produce Big Results in a 4 ? day Work week” and as part of the format, I conducted an interview with a friend of mine who had billed $1 million as a solo recruiter. During the session, he allowed me to grill him about specifics on how he used his time and controlled his focus in order to produce such big numbers. Incidentally, he billed this amount at a time when his average placement fee was just $7,000. Here are some highlights from our dialogue:
- You must have a burning desire: If you want to be a big biller you must have a burning desire to do what it takes to get there. If you’re lukewarm about your goals you can forget hitting those big numbers. This level of success starts with a passion for what you’re doing.
- You need to be clear on the “why” or benefit of being a big biller: If you become a big biller but lose your marriage and health in the process then you’ve gained nothing but a shallow ego trip. Here are some examples of a clear “why”:
- I want to pay off my house in the next 3 years so I can have more freedom
- I want to take 4 weeks a year to travel around the world
- I want to sponsor 20 hungry children per month
- See yourself as already there: My friend spent some time every day reviewing his goals – both personal and professional. Here’s a personal example of how to do this; my wife and I recently set a goal to pay off our house by my 40th birthday (4 ? years away). In order to make it fun, I set up a specific reward which is that we’ll spend 2 weeks at the Blue Parrot Inn in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico staying in the penthouse suite with a rooftop balcony. I printed off a photo of this exact balcony from the Internet and put it in a gold frame in our bathroom. Every day that I see this photo I picture myself sitting on the balcony with an expensive Maduro cigar in one hand and a dark beer in the other, feeling totally affluent and pleased that the house is now paid off. In my mind, I’m already there, it’s already happening.
- Be “ruthless” about who you will work with: Every big biller that I know has clear guidelines regarding who they will and will not work with. They are able to communicate this with both clients and candidates and are often very direct in regards to expectations and requirements. Bottom line: you must respect your time and only work with people who do the same in order to hit high numbers.
- Work in blocks: You’ve heard this before, I’m sure, but this is another common denominator in top producers. My friend said that he did not answer his phone – at all – during outgoing calling blocks. You must be able to separate execution from reacting if you want to excel.
- Plan meticulously: Again, you’ve heard it before but it’s a must. My friend used legal pads, index cards and a simple ACT database the year he billed $1 million – but he planned each and every call in advance.
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- Track your numbers like a mathematician: Boring? Maybe, but it’s another hallmark of high production. Enough said.
- Create systems for everything: My rule is if you have to do something 3 or more times in a month, you should have it documented. Don’t repeat things from scratch that you could have systematized.
- Neglect the administrivia: Learn to say “no.” Delegate and automate. From a certain point of view, there are really only 2 categories in your work: revenue generating activities – and everything else. You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule which says that 80% of a typical salesperson’s success comes from 20% of his or her activities. One of the characteristics that big billers have in common is that they consistently focus on the 20% and virtually nothing else.
More often than not, when we are trying to decide what to focus on during the day, we are actually choosing between a wide variety of tasks that could all beified as a “good” use of our time. Big billers have a finely tuned ability to gravitate toward the best activities while allowing many good, but less important, activities to go undone.
Well, there you have it. I assume this is a lot of information that you’ve heard before- and that’s the deceptive part. Because you’ve heard it before, it sounds trivial. We all want a new, shiny magic bullet. However, it’s the execution of these ideas that separates mediocre production from exceptional production.
If you’re fat and you ask my advice on how to lose weight, I’ll say, “eat less and run for 30 minutes a day.” You may have heard it before, but if you really did it everyday, you’d lose the weight. Same thing goes in terms of increasing your skill and production as a recruiter. It really is all about mastery of some basic things that you’re already doing