by Tony Vidler
Everyone is always looking for new or better ways to improve their business performance, and new ideas get all the headlines and generate all the excitement.
Amidst all the excitement of the new ideas there is a tendency to lose sight of fundamentals that are critical to ongoing business success. The very simple concept of staying focussed and busy on the day-to-day activities that generate business results gets pushed to one side. After all, the basics are mundane…they are, by definition, there every day…..they are repetitive and therefore easy to lose interest in or ignore and push to one side as there is no sense of urgency about the basics.
But here is the reality for most professionals: Every morning you begin the day unemployed.
The sense of being unemployed may have been taken away with a salary, or the ongoing management of a portfolio of clients for pre-agreed fees – perhaps. Your remuneration or employment structure though are either rewarding you for anticipated performance, or historical performance.
Your role as a professional is to produce value for clients every day you are working.
Knowing this, and being motivated to do so, are quite different things.
Introducing a “game” structure that creates the focus on basics can create motivation, and can be used as part of internal incentives, friendly competition and camaraderie, staff management, or a host of other things that lead to increased focus on the basics that drive the business forward. The rules for any good game are that they are relatively simple, easily understood, and that you are able to keep score quickly and easily. It is also important that the score is triggered by the actions that determine your state of progress towards an end result.
When you combine the motivation and mood that a game can create, together with some discipline or processes, it becomes a powerful package.
As an example, here is a wonderfully simple system that spun out of the old Frank Bettger concept of “seeing the people”. It is a simple system whereby all the client-facing advisers have to achieve 20 points per day….and from a gaming, or internal challenge and motivation perspective there are dozens of ways you can use the scoring system for reward and recognition, or management of key areas.
20-a-Day. Twenty “points” per working day in basic client activity will mean that any practitioner can’t help but put themselves in situations where they can create “value”. If any of us put ourselves in enough client interviews and contacts, business opportunities will present themselves if we do a thorough job of fact-finding, analysing and recommending solutions. How that works in practice is described in detail below.
There are numerous other disciplines and practices that a good adviser developes, many of them quite sophisticated. But the most expensive computerised presentation programme in the world, or series of flip-charts, or whatever, simply don’t work until the adviser gets into the position of having someone to give the fantastic show to.
1 point per call to create new engagement
1 point for a client appointment made from that call
3 points for having a client meeting/interview (fact-finding or presentation does not matter)
5 points for generating revenue from a client meeting/interview (fee income, commission, brokerage, etc)
Examples of how it works in practice:
e.g. 1. You might have 4 interviews in a day all resulting in revenue, hence 20 points. A good day indeed.
e.g. 2. No meetings scheduled, but you make 12 calls/client contacts, resulting in 8 appointments for next week. A good days work too.
e.g. 3. (More typical?). 2 client interviews, one resulting in revenue. (Total 8 points). 9 calls made (9 points), and 4 appointments made (4 more points). Days work – 21 points. An excellent day!
This system works even if its “personalised” a little, such as a total target of 100 points per week, or maybe a little less (say 70) if you have practice management duties as well.