By Matthew Ferrara, renowned Philosopher & Speaker
Remember the days when you kept a few business cards of influential people in your wallet or purse? Perhaps they were friends, advisors, peers so important to your career, you never wanted to be without their information handy. Today you store hundreds of these contacts in your smartphone, but it’s still the same: What’s in your database are your keys to success.
Most of us have a database, filled to overflowing with everyone and anyone we’ve met over the years. If you were to scroll through that list today, you might be surprised to find you recognize only a small percentage of the records. Much like social media accounts, we’ve collected more than we’ve connected with in a meaningful way. Perhaps it’s time for a little housekeeping.
A well curated database should focus on the people who are most influential to your success. The people you’d take a call from at 2am in the morning; or could rely on to answer your email in the same day. Are you developing a list worth more than any other data you could download? If not, start by reducing it to a group of relationships that matter most. Move everything else into a separate address book.
As a salesperson, your sphere of influence is the heart of your business. Every system, tool and technique at your disposal should be aimed at strengthening relationships with this core group of connections. Every part of your growth strategy should start from your clean database of key people: The clients who work with you repeatedly. The friends who refer you regularly. The peers who help you solve problems and delight clients reliably. Only a painstakingly-nurtured database makes this kind of difference in your success.
High performing individuals know the difference between quality and noise. You get noise every day – filtering through dozens of half-baked emails that make it impossible to connect with a real person – when you would have been better off a quality conversation with one past client. It’s not volume, but deepness that matters in a database. Your database should help you recall what’s important to each individual: The depth of their lives, the context of their needs, the details of their last transaction, and their hopes and dreams.
In so many ways, a well-appointed database fuels your prospecting performance. How to reach them is just the beginning: What to say, and why, matters. Whatever the tool – an email, a call, an online ad – your database drives decisions around content and message. The higher the quality, the better the results of every engagement. Strong data goes beyond purchase history: it’s a matter of personal history. It helps you stay connected so strongly, you’re beyond the reaches of any competitor.
A deep database is a powerful asset; it helps build business today. It’s also something to sell in the future. When the time comes for an exit strategy, selling your business will depend upon the value in your database. Potential buyers of your database – a new agent, a growing team – won’t want a mere address book. They will pay for insights, reflections and recommendations on how to transfer your relationships to them. Any artificial intelligence could tell salespeople how to call your people, for a few pennies per contact. But your well-maintained database filled with stories – your human intelligence – will be a priceless ticket to retirement.
If you doubt how important your database is, consider this story: In 2010, the creator of Star Trek Gene Roddenberry’s rolodex sold at auction for about $1200. It contained contact cards for William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and others from the now-famous series. And yet it didn’t do very well at auction because it was just a list of disconnected phone numbers. Nowadays people can connect directly with Shatner and Takei in an instant: They can forge their own relationships for free. A database of contact information is meaningless.
And yet if Shatner were to write a book about those relationships, fans would spend millions to get a copy. A book is just another kind of deep database – one in which context matters more than contacts – chapters more than the index. So, consider your database today. Is it full of clean, deep and high-quality content about the people you consider most important to your business? If so, you’re well on your way to taking your career where few have gone before.
By Tiana Baur
The year is coming to an end and it’s time for a moment of reflection. How close are you to hitting your goal this year and where were you this time last year? Are you guilty of setting lame, mediocre goals? There is a right way and a wrong way to set your business goals. Matthew Ferrara, real estate mogul, keynote speaker, and consultant, has some serious tips for how to go about and set your business goals. These best practices for goal-setting will help get you to where you envision yourself and your business to be, because when you care, you succeed.
First, take time to clarify your goals.
Matthew says, “Don’t start with a dollar figure. But, instead ask yourself, ‘What is the reward for all of your hard work?’ Maybe there are personal goals like saving for your retirement or putting your kids through college. Maybe it’s a professional goal such as being the best in your market place. Whatever those goals are, and they might change over time, you need to sit down and clarify those goals.” Focus on rewards first.
Next: What will it take to reach that goal?
This is where your numbers start to come in. How much revenue do you need to generate? What about in units? How many sellers/buyers does that mean? What’s the price point? Once you’d figured these out, you can find the system that helps make them a reality. As Matthew says, “The right system will go to work for you.”
The right system will…
- Take a look at historical data
- Analyze your current pipeline of contacts and prospects
- Give you a current status
- Help you build out a plan for success
You can expect some of the plans for success to include how many people you need to add to your sphere or actions the system can take care of for you like automated emailing or creating marketing tools. “The best systems don’t just organize your information. They need to activate them and help you work through that information using a process that is aimed at your goals.
Bring focus: Accountability starts with you
You need to be able to see your goal every single day. You need to see how the actions you’re making are generating the results necessary to reach the goal. Also, the technology you use should show other steps needed in order to attain said goal if you aren’t doing enough as is. This kind of information helps you with: Budgeting and planning, managing expenses, highlighting gaps in your projections, comparing current performance to previous time periods, and focus on tasks and goals.
- Goals are critical.
- Focus on the rewards then determine revenue necessary. Then take a look at the work required to generate the revenue.
- Connect your goals to your systems. Make sure your plan is driven by the right data that guides you step by step to the goal.
- Always be measuring progress. Make sure your system helps you keep an eye on your own progress, not just daily tasks.
If you’d like, you can watch the entire video below on how to set your business goals for 2018:
For those Moxi Engage users reading this, you can now review your previous years’ goals in Moxi Engage and compare and contrast how things are going in your business. This enables you to better choose your goals for the future.
If it’s financial guidance you’re seeking, we have a recorded webinar for you to watch here.
So, what are you waiting for? Hit the ground running in 2018 with goals and grit beside you! Trust us, your future self will thank you for doing this.