There are stretches in your business where you will have a little bit more margin because transactions are eating up less of your time. When you look back over your numbers for 2019, you will inevitably notice that there were ebbs and flows in your production. You closed more deals in some months than others. There is a chance those variations were a byproduct of your input; you may have made the mistake of dialing back your input and it negatively impacted your business at different points in the year.
Another less disappointing reality is that your business dealt with a bit of seasonality. You were consistent in your effort, but some months made a smaller dent in your annual goal. Only you can answer whether or not it was seasonality or effort.
The truth is you should be looking back in recent years to determine what percentage of your annual production will come from each month. Armed with that info, months with fewer closings become far less alarming.
If you know when you will have a little bit more margin in your business, you can plan to build your calendar accordingly and hammer away at some tasks, projects, and training that you may not normally be able to throw yourself at full force when transaction eat up a huge chunk of your day.
How can you most effectively fill the time when you find yourself with a slow day, week or month? Here are some valuable tasks to focus on.
This is so obvious that it almost doesn’t feel like it needs to be mentioned. If you don’t have a ton of face time scheduled on your calendar with clients and prospects, then pick up the phone and get some extra sessions of prospecting in. Stockpile your appointments and fill up your calendar a couple of weeks ahead of time. Load up on long-term nurtures to drop into drip campaigns.
Refine your skills
One of the first things to fall by the wayside when calendars get chaotic is training. We assume that if we are using something every day, like a prospecting script or an initial consultation, then we don’t actually need to practice it. That mindset allows for bad habits to creep in. You slowly drift away from the right way of doing things if you’re not consistently revisiting scripts and systems.
There is no better way to invest your time than to invest it in yourself. Consider the return on investment if you improve your conversion rate on the phone and in-person because you committed to training diligently.
We tell our agents who are going through onboarding that they will never have another opportunity in their career to focus on personal growth, prospecting and scripting to the degree that they can during that season. However, these months that are slowed by seasonality allow you to sharpen your ax before you start chopping at trees in the busier seasons.
There are so many great resources at your fingertips that you can dive into with a little bit of margin in your schedule. Consider what you want to get better at, then soak up books, podcasts, and videos from authorities on those topics. Be a sponge while you have the wiggle room.
Maybe you need a season where you double down on role play. Find a partner and work through the scripts and objections that are causing you headaches. Get reps on your initial consultation so that you’re ready the next time you get in front of your prospects.
When you have the chance to take a breath, it can provide an opportunity for you to take a close look at your various systems and processes. There are a ton of moving parts in your business that we often trust to be performing well in the background. Even if they are, responsible business owners will take time to do some internal examination to keep things running smoothly.
Where are there inefficiencies? Where are there missed opportunities? How is your client’s experience lacking? What is working and what isn’t? Is there anything that can be automated or delegated?
You have to work on your business as well as in your business. Eliminating inefficiencies will give you the peace of mind and clarity that you need to continue to produce at a high level, on top of having systems that can carry the load.
Build out new campaigns
With some additional wiggle room in your calendar, you can take time to develop new campaigns. You may choose to build out new campaigns for prospects or past clients that run in the background, providing long-term value to your business that will keep prospects engaged and clients coming back in the future.
You may instead choose to go all-in on a one-off campaign of some kind. Perhaps you want to crank up your farming efforts in a given neighborhood. Maybe you plan a few touches around some sort of seasonal content or a pertinent topic for homeowners. You might crank out a traditional postcard campaign with your own spin on it.
Whatever direction you choose to go, you have the opportunity to build out something that will continue to fill up your pipeline for future months.
Tackle major projects
What is that big idea that has been hanging around in the back of your head for months that you think will dramatically improve your business? It’s probably something that you think is relatively important but far from urgent. It isn’t necessary, but it would certainly be valuable.
Do that. Make that thing happen.
On our team, we have a number of projects that are a staple on our to-do list because it seems we can never get to them. The day-to-day gets in the way, or another more pressing project gets pushed to the forefront. So we find ourselves chipping away at the project a little at a time.
Eventually, though, they make their way to the top of the list. It starts to snowball. They may take months to see through to completion, and they may go through multiple versions before they ever see the light of day, but eventually, we get to them and see that all that effort was worth it. We just needed a little margin to throw ourselves at it full-force.