Manos Findikakis from Eview Group says December is actually a good time to plan a pre-emptive strike while your competition is winding down.
ONE OF MY FAVOURITE SAYINGS is to ‘zig’ when the competition ‘zags’, and December is one of those opportune times to do just that. As the majority get into the festive season and start to wind down, the ‘ziggers’ are preparing their onslaught for the following year and wind up!
To be ahead of the curve and gain the competitive advantage, you need a pre-emptive strike whilst your competitors are winding down. For us it’s about planning for 2017, festive season prospecting strategy, and reflecting on what worked and what didn’t for the year.
And let’s not kid ourselves. We all have access to the same ingredients; it’s ‘how’ and ‘when’ we put them together that makes the difference.
So what does it all look like?
At the end of each year, we conduct our annual ‘Business Planning Session.’ It is a full day, mid-December (and we get over 90% non-compulsory attendance so I guess they enjoy it!) and we focus on the following objectives.
- Refocus on the ‘Why?’ It’s about personal goals, aspirations and the things that will make us get out of bed
- Build a prospecting and lead generation plan based on past success. We call it the ‘High Impact & Wipe Out Program.’ In simple terms, what activity gets you the best return (high impact) for effort and what consistent activity will get you in the door unopposed (wipe out the competition before they can even get in the door)
- Write a business and personal plan on a single page.
Festive Season Prospecting Strategy
The festive season prospecting strategy is the foundation to the next 12 months of lead generation. Momentum starts here, not mid-stream.
1. First, the basics. You can’t go past the traditional Christmas Card and Fridge Magnet. Yep, they still work. Who gets one? Past and present clients, everyone in your service area and everyone on your database. When? During the month of December.
2. Newsletter and Market Wrap, ‘The Year that was.’ This is a direct mail out to everyone in your service area and database. Provide quality and informative information with a call to action. When? Mid to late January. This can and should also be leveraged by sponsored social media posts and blogging to your target market.
3. Priority attention for your customers. Do not drop your guard here. They need to know you are setting up 2017 just for them. This includes market updates as they happen (just listed, under contracts, just sold) and buyer activity. That extra ‘personal’ touchpoint is necessary, SMS, phone call or hand written note. Word of caution, do not rely on email as your only contact point as we have found the cut through with email during the silly season is at its lowest point.
What worked, what didn’t, what will you stop doing and what will you start?
Review all your activities that generated you the best results. This includes not only that activity that helped you get you leads and sales in 2016, but which also allowed you the freedom to enjoy the journey. It’s that elusive work-life balance most struggle to find and is usually as a result of lack of planning. In this instance, it’s about evaluating what has worked for you and what you will continue to do. What didn’t work, and get it removed from your weekly to-do list; and finally, what new activity will you commit to doing that you haven’t done in the past? We usually get several of the team committing to tracking and keeping records of their lead sources as a ‘new activity.’ Classic quote, ‘what gets measured, gets done.’
What’s happening at Eview Group?
In 2016, we celebrated our 10 year birthday and our organisation almost doubled in size. 100% of our offices had a personal best year and 81% of the sales team also had a personal best with almost one in five almost doubling their previous year results. Considering overall sales numbers were anywhere between 20% to 30% down in our marketplace, it was an exceptionally good year for our teams.
In the months to come, we have signed off on five new brands to enter the marketplace so the start of 2017 will be very exciting. We’ve experienced exceptional interest in our ‘YBYB’ model and we are very optimistic of the year and growth ahead.
Our primary focus is to help our teams make 2017 an even better year than 2016 and keep our core values of support, freedom and profitability at the forefront of everything we do. An exciting 2017 to look forward to.